23 March 2006

Another Basketball Post

I like sports. Mostly 3 sports: college hoops, pro football, and tennis. One day perhaps I’ll add curling, but for now it’s these three. As a philosopher and scientist, I bring my epistemological and analytical viewpoints to this crucial aspect of the American zeitgeist.

Like most fans, I’ve also been thrilled at the close games and upsets in this year’s NCAA tourney. And I’ve been wondering whether this is a fluke, a trend, or if the NCAA committee just got lucky and slated great matchups.

My theory is that it is a trend towards more competitive college basketball. I think it’s driven by the fact that college players stay in college only until they’re ready for the NBA. Taking the very sensible step of applying Le Chatelier’s Principle to this, it is clear that “the system” (college basketball) will react in such a way as to counter the outward flow of basketball players.

It’s really no different than adding acid to a solution of chromate ions. The solution will react to the excess of acid and create dichromate, changing the solution from yellow to orange. It’s just that simple.

Anyway, the point (besides that I’m crazy) is that there is a high rate of turnover in college basketball. Players are realizing that they don’t have to go to the school with the “best” program. The separation between the best programs and everyone else has been steadily narrowing over the past several years. Given the choice between famous programs and getting the chance to play, more and more players are choosing schools where they get a chance to play.

More players playing at more schools means more talent being developed at more places. I think this trend will continue, and it will make college basketball much more competitive and exciting to watch. We will see more Wichita States and Bradleys, and I’m all for it. You’re really going to have to know your stuff to win the office pool from now on.

I guess that means Andrew “I love Kobe and know more about basketball than WestEnder” Warner will win bracketology from now on. By the way, how’s your bracket this year, Mr. Warner? If he’s doing better than I am, I’ll ralph. And then I’ll buy him a beer. It’s the law of the West.

Also, word on the street is that Huggins will be the next coach at Kansas State.


JenJen said...

All I know is, I hope Huggins can find a fun bar in Manhattan.

They did tell him that was Manhattan, [i]Kansas[/i], right?

Helluva ending to the WVU-Texas game tonight. Damn.

TravisG said...

You'd better watch out, mixing college basketball and philosophy like that. Michael Bérubé might shoot you in the face. (After all, that guy is dangerous.)

K. said...

As a Wolverine fan, I must disagree with your comments re: the parity in college basketball being good. This, in fact, is RUINING my beloved Wolverines program. How can they recruit top players when all these schools like Bradley and George Mason keep winning! THis gives players (i almost wrote students - ha!) OPTIONS!

(I'm a little disgruntled for having shelled out $54 for courtside seats to tuesday's matchup at the Garden....Michigan v. Old Dominion (who?where?huh?).)

While I take great joy in cheering on the underdogs, enough of this everybody else getting good. I'm selfish. I would like to STOP playing in this subpar tournament, and to do so, we need the little guys to continue to be quashed.

So, tonight, I cheer for...BC/Florida/UConn....and uh, o geez, Wichita State, i guess...

WestEnder said...

There you go!

(and when I think of Michael Berube, I think of the Rolling Stones' "Shattered." Shattered, shattered... berube, berube...)

Unknown said...

Ha ha, my bracket is shot. I probably owe you a beer in that regard.

One thing is for sure, if Kobe were playing in the tournament I would have put my money on him-- I'm sure he could handle George Mason.

You excited Huggins got hired by such a big time program like KSU?