This week NBA Commissioner Adam Silver floated the idea of a mid-season single-elimination NBA Tournament.
What is not to like about that idea?
The United States Men’s National Soccer Team was seconds away from seeing through a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Portugal. The U.S. was poised to secure a berth into the round of 16 with a game to spare, while temporarily silencing many critics in their own country.
Then Cristiano Ronaldo, playing at far less than 100 percent, made one last frantic rush down the right flank. His crossing pass to Silvestre Varela was perfect and led to a walk-off tying goal for the Portuguese.
For neutral soccer fans worldwide, it was a celebration of one of the best matches of the 2014 World Cup. There were talking points and momentum swings on both sides.
But the end result provided American Soccer Hater with ammunition.
The carnage was historic. No less than five of eight national seeds, and an astounding nine of 16 regional hosts wound up being eliminated in the first weekend of the NCAA baseball tournament.
The final eight in Omaha will represent a complete turnover from 2013, only one school has a chance at return trip.
All told, four number two seeds, four three seeds and even a four seed have a chance of making college baseball’s ultimate show, to be televised somewhere on the ESPN dial where they will take second billing. Something about a soccer tournament they pay an enormous sum to televise.
Four Texas schools, three California schools, but incredibly no one from Florida. Still, the Super Regional showdowns feature a do-or-die feel not seen in Major League baseball until October. Here is a look at the eight matchups.