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

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 AmericanizeSoccer.com



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.

Comments

  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.
    Thanks!

  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!

Speak Your Mind