NCAA Tournament More About Coaches Than Players

It’s harder for the casual sports fan to get to know college basketball players than it was from years before.  It used to be the Ewings, Olajuwons, and Laettners of the court hung around a while and fans got to know them.

Years have passed by and players don’t emerge as household names like they used to.  One of the big reasons, of course, is because the NBA rules have changed and players can enter the draft after one year.  The other reasons are more subtle.

Players are not as recognizable as they used to be because it has, in part, become much harder to stand out as a player.  It is much more rare for a player to do things that haven’t been seen in a while.  The game has become so incredibly analyzed over the years that there are fewer ‘special’ players to get to know.

For the casual sports fan, college basketball has become more about finding that team to root for.  In the tournament, it’s always about seeing the underdog.  But, when there are no underdogs left or none on the schedule, the coach becomes a rooting figure.

Programs are more known by the face of the coach.


Tom Izzo from Michigan State always seems like a guy to root for and Bob Huggins of West Virginia has become that kind of guy, too.

Izzo seems to get the most out of his teams, eclipsing the prognosticators most of the time.

Huggins has been there so many times, but he still hasn’t been able to get a title.  Over time, he has become a figure to support because it looks like his heart is in the right place.

John Calipari of Kentucky is the opposite.  He’s great for Kentucky, but nationally, his image is trying to win by cutting corners by bringing in players just stopping by way on their way to the NBA.

Americans like guys with hard work ethics.  Coaches get a lot of credibility when their focus is on academics and not just athletics.

Rick Pitino of Louisville is a controversial figure due to his past transgressions in the news and leaving schools before finishing what he started or fulfilling his contract.

Coach K of Duke is Coach K with so many wins that his story is getting repetitive.

Bill Self and Roy Williams of Kansas and UNC are appreciated, but boring as far as human-interest stories go.

Jim Calhoun has accomplished more than anyone would have expected with 3 championships at UCONN and he could have retired on top, but chose not to and his health issues make it uncomfortable for fans to watch him.

Gary Williams won a title at Maryland and retired with dignity and without NCAA infractions following them around, unlike Calhoun.

Jim Boeheim of Syracuse is starting to wear out his welcome.  He used to be a guy to root for, but now he’s in the news too much for the wrong reasons.

Steve Fisher is one coach who has redeemed himself quite well at a lesser-known school, San Diego State University.  He has brought the school some prominence in a sport it was never known for before he came.  He has a compelling rebound of a story, kind of like Huggins, but with a title in his background from Michigan.

But, the guy everybody likes is Shaka Smart.  He has that kind of persona and character that get casual fans excited for the college game.  His school, Virginia Commonwealth, is the darling going in to this year’s bracketology.

Butler, George Mason, Gonzaga and VCU give fans hope for the ultimate underdog champion, the new Glory Road.

Having Smart and the Rams back again for the Final Four would shake up television ratings and make the 2012 tournament another thrilling ride to remember.


Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of

About Howard M Alperin

Husband, Father, Teacher, Planner, Advisor, Counselor, Social Worker, Businessman, Consultant, Blogger, Author, Entrepreneur, Inventor, YMCA Coach, Marketer, Innovator, Advertiser, Promoter, Court Appointed Special Advocate to children, Volunteer, Runner, Athlete, Spanish Speaker, Non-Sports Card Collector, Dog Agility Enthusiast and OIF Veteran.


  1. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.

    I’m quite sure I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  2. These are genuinely great ideas in about blogging. You have touched some good things here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.

  3. I am always looking online for tips that can aid me.

  4. It’s fantastic that you are getting thoughts from this piece of writing as
    well as from our argument made at this place.

  5. Right here is the perfect webpage for everyone who really wants to
    find out about this topic. You understand so much
    its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would
    want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic
    which has been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff,
    just excellent!

  6. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining,
    and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something that too few folks are speaking
    intelligently about. Now i’m very happy I found this during my search
    for something relating to this.

  7. Hey there would you mind letting me know which
    hosting company you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different
    web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.

    Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a reasonable price?

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  8. I really like what you guys are usually up too.
    This kind of clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you
    guys to blogroll.

  9. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My website discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each
    other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  10. What’s up colleagues, fastidious paragraph and
    good urging commented at this place, I am genuinely enjoying by these.

  11. Highly descriptive post, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

  12. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

  13. whoah this weblog is great i love studying your articles. Stay up the good work! You realize, a lot of individuals are hunting around for this info, you can aid them greatly.

  14. We merely want to inform you you that I’m really raw to wordpress blogging and undeniably valued your page. Most likely I am likely to save your post post . You indeed have lovely article writing. Appreciate it for telling with us your domain report.

  15. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  16. To play totally free slots absolutely free to the opposite they’ll lead one to slots machine successful specified prizes in the event you take part in free slots just by sitting at your home with full comfort. Most of these websites will be providing you with the same level of fun and excitement as found in the real game settings. Da Vinci Diamonds slot game. For slots machine others, however, if you are playing. Firstly, they need to be taken lightly. This thrilling game is inspired by on the opulence and culture of Da Vinci’s time.

  17. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  18. I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

  19. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

  20. Hello There. I found your weblog the usage of msn. This is a very neatly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  21. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  22. I like to spend my free time by scanning various internet resources. Today I came across your website and I found it has some of the most practical and helpful information I’ve seen.

  23. I take pleasure in, result in I found exactly what I used to be having a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  24. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  25. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who had been doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your internet site.

  26. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  27. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is actually irritating. A good web site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this web-site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  28. Helpful info. Lucky me I discovered your website unintentionally, and I’m stunned why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  29. Appreciate you sharing, great blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

  30. It appears like one particular of the guys could manage one skinny girl twerking but when the other came it was also a lot for him.

  31. college simply because of the transgender policy.|For anyone who thought that twerking had its moment and now it is gone, that is clearly not the case.|

  32. Aprobadas en la XXX Conferencia Internacional de la Cruz Roja y de la Media Luna Roja

  33. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

  34. Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this web site.

  35. I dugg some of you post as I thought they were invaluable handy.

  36. I do not even know how I ended up here, however I assumed this submit used to be great. I don’t recognise who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger in the event you are not already ;) Cheers!

Speak Your Mind