Yorgo Sarris/Contributing Writer
Alabama lost to the powerhouse of olde, the UCLA Bruins. They’re out of the tournament, and all hopes of a Final Four are gone, dead just like that. Sic transit gloria mundi. Thus passes away the glory of the world. I am upset, I’ve never been so invested into a basketball team, whose players I admire, and whose coach I would go to war for. This Alabama team was a breath of fresh air. They played loose, shot up threes, were fast on transition and they played great defense. Defense in football has become a thing of the past; the rules have changed to aid offenses and quarterbacks are becoming more accurate with even faster and more athletic receivers. It hasn’t gotten old, because Alabama has kept winning; but alas, I miss when Alabama used to give up less than 10 points a game, now they struggle to give up less than 20.
Nonetheless, football is much better than basketball (not just because my Alabama is better at it.) I have praised March Madness in a column before; it is undeniably fun and unpredictable. But where it loses me is in that unpredictability. A game of basketball is far more reliant on luck and small, minute details. A ball could circle around the rim three times and still not fall into the basket. Additionally, referees have a much bigger grasp on the game. In nearly every play in basketball, one can find a foul. Referees have more leeway, and can leave their mark on the game by either calling too many fouls, or “just letting them play.” There can be such in football, but overall, the team that plays best and with the most will most always win, regardless of referee tendencies. There were missed calls in Alabama’s game against UCLA, you can go to my Twitter feed to see where I complained about them. It simply makes basketball unwatchable sometimes. Even worse, the tournament of 68 teams is not a fair way to determine the champion. Sudden death elimination does not reward the teams who had great regular seasons; it can all come crumbling down with a referee’s bogus whistle. The football playoff is a far superior system. Four teams who were obviously the four best have a chance at the title, and the team that is best always seems to win. Expanding a playoff to eight teams, like some of the college football liberals have called for, will lead only to the same result. Furthermore, yes, the nearly same eight teams will make it in every year, just like Alabama and Clemson have. A four team playoff is fair, sane, unlike the pandemonium of 68 teams.
I won’t be interested in basketball for a while now. I will count down the days until the next crusade for a Nick Saban joyless football championship begins. All this said, if Alabama had won, even on a bogus call I would be sporting my crimson and white sweatshirts this week, celebrating an impressive victory and our first Elite Eight trip in years. Oh well, I’ve let it ruin my day, and I wonder why I care for sports. It’s meaningless in the long run anyways.