I don't mean to make y'all uneasy by thinking of me all warm and tingly, but how can you not be romantic about college basketball? I've watched this clip numerous times with just a gigantic smile on my face, because he's right. Too often we talk about how the sport is ruined. Too many people want to scream and bitch about everything in the sport. Whether it's NIL, transfer portal, conference realignment, one-and-done rule, officiating (okay, I'll let this one slide), mid-majors making the Final Four or anything else like that.
You know what? This season was one of the better ones start to finish. Yes, you can say the talent wasn't the same as years past but that's all cyclical. We had upsets all the time. We had a rotating cast of teams at the No. 1 spot in the polls. We had damn good mid-majors. That ain't going anywhere. Like Dutcher says, SDSU and FAU can bring back a ton of guys. I hope they do. It'd be awesome to see those teams run it back as much as possible, especially FAU. That wasn't a fluke run. They won 35 games.
I do think it's a little funny that Dutcher brings up the portal. SDSU had a ton of transfers. Trammell, Parrish, Bradley and LeDee all transferred into the program the last couple of years. And you know what? We have major names in the portal this year. Hunter Dickinson, Max Abmas, LJ Cryer, Dalton Knecht, Kel'el Ware, Caleb Love, etc.
But the sport is in good shape. Yes, I want to stop conference realignment because I hate that. But viewership was up this year. Looking forward to next year - yes, it's absurdly early - but the Barstool Sportsbook is showing it pretty open:
It'll all change as draft and transfer decisions happen. But that's what I want to see to start the offseason. No super heavy favorite. A bunch of teams all bunched up. Teams like FAU and Yale listed with the high majors. But for anyone who complains about the same teams being dominant, we're not getting that. There hasn't been a team to make back-to-back Final Fours since UNC did it in 2016 and 17.
Yeah I wish last night was a better title game. But it's not like it was the first ugly game we've had for a championship. It has nothing to do with mid-majors. Nova beat the shit out of Michigan in 2018. Baylor beat the shit out of Gonzaga in 2021.
So, yeah, the sport is just fine. Don't let people who only watch in March tell you otherwise.