Last night Wisconsin confirmed what some people had forgotten. When the calendar hits March, the concept of a 'sure thing' in college basketball is non existent. That's the beauty of the NCAA tournament. We don't watch to see beautifully executed fundamental basketball. We don't watch it for the talent. We don't watch it for the sport. We watch it for the entertainment value. We watch it for it's volatile nature. We watch expecting the unexpected. We watch it to see 18-20 year old kids play like, well, 18-20 year old kids. We watch it for the inconceivable comebacks and the mind blowing collapses. We watch it for the buzz beaters. We watch it to see dreams come true and nightmares realized. We watch it to see teams we have never heard of reign victorious over traditional powers. A team isn't supposed to enter the tournament with even odds of winning. 90% of your pool's brackets aren't supposed to have the same winner. It's not what makes people tune in to a sport that they spend a majority of the regular season ignoring.
Don't get me wrong. What Kentucky nearly did was unbelievable. An undefeated regular season that fell just two wins short of a national championship is incredible, especially for a team composed almost entirely of NBA bound freshman and sophomores. There is no question they were fun to watch. But the only thing that is more fun to watch than an unbeatable team is watching a team that beats them. There's no enjoyment in rooting for Goliath. We don't watch television or movies to see the feel good story get trounced by the team that is clearly their superior. Did you root for Iceland in 'The Mighty Ducks'? The Cowboys in 'The Little Giants'? If you did you probably aren't reading this because you are behind bars for being a self loathing, sociopathic murderer.
Sports are like non-scripted reality television, and the optimal results are those that are too good to be choreographed. That's why I am glad Kentucky lost, despite harboring no ill will to the university. When the NCAA tournament rolls around I need to know that I know absolutely nothing. It's what makes one of the best sporting events of the year worth watching. March just wouldn't be March without the Madness.