Next week is February which means we’re only about a month away from NCAA Basketball conference championships and about six weeks from the beginning of March Madness. So why is there no buzz? I have a couple of ideas, let’s explore…
The lack of big stars
In any NCAA season there is always a star on the radar that garners the attention of most fans. Last year, it was John Wall. In 2009, it was Blake Griffin. This year, it’s Jimmer Fredette. Yes, a point guard from Brigham Young University is the toast of the basketball town. You can’t go from Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, hell even Tyler Hansbrough to Jimmer Fredette. Sorry, I don’t see people getting hyped enough about Jimmer Fredette at this time of year. Let’s see what he does in the tournament.
Sure they are still in the top 5 but they are an average Duke team at best. The thing about Duke, love them or hate them, you watch them. They are compelling. I don’t think there’s another team that invokes such passion on either side. Coach K has a way of making sure his teams are competitive but this year they are just plain boring. The most exciting player on the team, Kyrie Irving, is a freshman but he’s been injured the majority of the season with no timetable for return. So you’re stuck with Kyle Singler….Zzzzzzzz wake me when he’s over.
The lack of a dominant program
Take a look at the current AP top ten:
Ohio State Kansas
San Diego State Syracuse
Connecticut Brigham Young
I don’t think there is anyone in the world afraid of Ohio State even though they are currently undefeated. Just like in football, the Big 10 falls apart when challenged by other programs. There’s Duke, but we’ve discussed them. San Diego State lost to Jimmer Fredette and ‘nem last night. Plus they are coached by Steve Fisher who is about 158 years old and far removed from his Fab Five glory. Texas and Kansas *moves on*. Nothing to see there. The rest of the top ten is littered with Big East teams and frankly we never know what we’re getting from them. There are too many teams and most are good at basketball. Syracuse lost 90-68 to Seton Hall at home this week. The Big East might get every single team in the tournament one year. While each one of those teams in the top ten has a chance to win it all no one can look at them and say they have an idea of who it will be. There’s not even a guarantee that the winner is in that list at all.
None of this matters because come March sports fans will still dutifully fill out their brackets and plant themselves in front of the television for four days straight for the opening rounds. It really is too bad that there isn’t some way to make it interesting now, especially since we’re in the waning days of football season. Someone call Jimmer and tell him to score 50 next week, maybe that’ll help.