Friday, March 16, 2012

An Open Letter To The NCAA

Dear NCAA Selection Committee,

I do not want your job, having to choose which teams get into the tournament and which teams don't is not a position that I would want to be in. The scrutiny that also comes with those selections is also something I could do without.  However this letter is not about which teams you select but where those teams then play.

The brackets are broken down into SOUTH, WEST, EAST, and MIDWEST, and this is where I get confused...I realize that number 1 seeds always get some sort of home court advantage, whether the same city or a short drive away, and I get that, they should play close to home. However I do not understand why you send teams clear across the country to play.

Let's take VCU for example, a mid-major school from VA has to play in Portland, which is clear across the country. I don't know too many college students that can cough up the $1000 it would likely cost between airfare, hotel, and ticket to game price to attend the game.  Watching the game last night I was saddened by the empty seats throughout the arena, it was in a word depressing.

This is a school that set an NCAA record for sell outs at their home arena among all NCAA teams major and mid-major. Mid-major schools especially rely on fan support when playing major teams with large followings.  Fans are a huge part of any sport and when teams play so far away that fans are unable to make the trip hurts not only the team but the fans who want to support their team as well.

Yes, VCU won last night and that makes me thrilled beyond belief as I am ready to go dancing again but I still have to wonder why a team out of the SOUTH bracket ends up playing in Portland to begin with. I guess we will have to wait and see how far VCU goes this year, maybe they will end up closer to VA so that fans get to experience the sheer excitement of the NCAA Tournament in person instead of through a television screen.

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