The Greatest Continuing Sporting Event Ever Got Even Better With Duke-North Carolina – OutKick

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Why is the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament the biggest extended sporting event of all time? Let me explain:

From a sportswriter’s perspective, this saves you from covering the worst continuous sporting event of all time, which is spring football.

Spring football is a valid exercise for players and coaches, but it tends not to make sense. No one wins a starting job or a position on the depth chart in the spring unless they win it again in August, rendering what happened in the spring meaningless. There is still this word. Spring training in Major League Baseball is important because when it ends, the season begins. Have you ever heard that during a season-opening football match?

“He got off to a good start in this game. He really had a good spring.

No, you didn’t.

And there is this. If it weren’t for spring football, no one would miss it because they’d have August to make up for, not to mention fewer injuries. One of the original reasons for spring football was to keep college players in shape during the long off-season. For decades, athletes have stayed in shape year-round, making spring football unnecessary.

If there were no NCAA Tournament, March Madness would still exist, but it would have a very different meaning. People all over the country would go crazy and crazy in March trying to fill a gigantic void, looking for parentheses and trying to find Saint Peter’s or Northwestern State or Princeton or the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, which is not not a campus police department in Threadon a map.

Maryland-Baltimore County became the first No. 16 seed in history to beat a No. 1 seed when it defeated Virginia, 74-54, on March 16, 2018. The other three schools ci above were all double-digit seeds that caused shocking upsets.

With the NCAA Tournament, college basketball has something no other sport has – a Cinderella band almost every year that people shoot like crazy, often without knowing where the school is. Just two weeks ago, no one knew about Saint Peter’s, a small suburban school of 2,134 undergraduates in Jersey City, New Jersey. It doesn’t happen in other sports.

Saint Peter’s, which had beaten exactly two teams with winning records prior to the NCAA Tournament, strutted with a 19-11 record after beating Monmouth to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. The Peacocks were an 18.5-point underdog to second-seeded Kentucky and beat the Wildcats, 85-79, in overtime. It was the fourth-biggest NCAA Tournament upset since 1985, according to bettors.

After beating No. 7 seed Murray State, 70-60, Saint Peter’s beat No. 3 seed Purdue, 67-64, on Friday to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Elite. Eight. Before Saint Peter’s, the No. 15 seed was 0 for 10 in the Sweet 16 openers. The Peacocks lost to eighth seed North Carolina, 69-49, on Sunday, but the Peacocks made this Tournament before withdrawing.

This type of Kentucky and Purdue upset doesn’t happen often in football, especially in the playoffs. The college football playoffs, for example, tend to be blowouts.

Oh, and the Peacocks’ win over Purdue happened on National Peacock Day. Don’t make this up. And guard Doug “The Mustache” Edert of Nutley, New Jersey, clearly looks like he could be the male lead in a Boys jersey remake.

“I think Jersey City is going to be open all night,” said CBS play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle, who is from Queens, NY, by the way, after Saint Peter’s danced to Purdue. .


“Open All Night” is a song created in New Jersey by one of New Jersey’s most famous natives – Bruce Springsteen, who was born in Long Branch and raised in Freehold, and probably didn’t know where to go either. find Saint Peter’s.

And there were other upsets on the way to the Elite Eight, which featured one of the highest seeding totals in tournament history at 47. No. 2 seed Auburn, 79-61 . The Hurricanes easily beat No. 11 seed Iowa State 70-56 on Friday to reach their first Elite Eight in history and face No. 1 seed Kansas.

“It’s not something that happens every day,” said Miami coach Jim Larranaga, who took George Mason to his only Final Four in 2006 as a nation learned the school was located at Fairfax, Virginia. “For Kansas, yes, but not for Miami.”

TBS play-by-play announcer Kevin Harland was caught in some shining moments after Miami’s win as he reviewed the tournament.

“Kansas is the only No. 1 seed left,” he enthused as seeds Arizona and Gonzaga fell the night before to No. 5 seeds Houston and the No. No. 4 seed Arkansas, respectively, after Baylor lost the previous week in the second round to No. 8 seed North Carolina. (Kansas beat Miami, 76-60, on Sunday to become the lone seed.)

“And what about North Carolina? And what about the Duke Blue Devils? So many great stories as this tournament continues to never disappoint,” said Harland.

Exactly.

And it all happens in about two hours. One can watch two NCAA Tournament games in the time it takes to watch a college football playoff blowout, a sleepy Thursday night NFL game, any Major League Baseball game, or worse. , a spring football game. And the games keep coming that first Thursday, then Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Three days to catch your breath and more games from Thursday to Sunday. And we’ve just entered Super Bowl week.

This NCAA tournament is just starting to heat up with so many other great stories:

-The first Duke-North Carolina game in the NCAA Tournament is Saturday at 8:49 p.m. EST at the Superdome in New Orleans on TBS. These two hated rivals have played 257 times since 1920, but never in the NCAA Tournament, even though they have appeared in the same NCAA Tournament 36 times. Until now.

-The “undercard” is No. 2 seed Villanova against No. 1 Kansas at 6:09 p.m. on TBS. Can Villanova win without star goaltender Justin Moore, who tore his Achilles tendon with 36 seconds left in Villanova’s 50-44 win over Houston on Saturday and will not play?

– Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, this will be coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 13th and final Final Four, an NCAA record. And he’s playing North Carolina for the first time in the tournament? North Carolina will either be the last team he loses to or one of the last teams he beats. wow. Oh, and North Carolina coach Hubert Davis is in his first year as head coach and first Final Four. How cool is that? We go out to immortality. The other has just started walking. Did Dean Smith write this?

And get this, when Coach K woke up Monday morning and got ready to leave for New Orleans, he was celebrating the 30th anniversary of perhaps the greatest game in NCAA tournament history. Duke 104, Kentucky 103 in the Eastern Regional Finals on March 28, 1992 in Philadelphia. Duke then defeated Indiana and Michigan in the Final Four in Minneapolis for its second national title.

Who drew all this? John Bois? James Naismith?

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