Will anyone actually watch the game?
Tonight, at 9:23 p.m. Eastern, the Butler Bulldogs will take on the Connecticut Huskies for the NCAA Basketball Championship. That tip-off time means that on the East Coast anyone under the age of 12 won’t be able to watch tip-off and anyone over 22 won’t be able to stay up for the full game. So, basically, the only people watching the entire game will be sportswriters, college kids, and any high schoolers lucky enough to have a TV in their bedroom.
There’s been some debate over how this game will do ratings-wise and, well, I think I just solved that problem.
In ESPN’s bracket challenge, only 881 people out of 5.1 million picked the title game correctly. If you’re one of them, you’re either clinically insane or the offspring of a Bulldog and a Husky. Either way, I am jealous.
Men are better than women
But last night, UConn’s women’s basketball team, who I’m pretty sure had basically won every game played in the history of women’s basketball up until then, lost to Notre Dame in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. Well, at least they’ll be able to take solace in their male counterparts playing for the national title tonight. Or not. No, definitely not.
You have to root for Butler
Obviously, I’m not above telling our readers who they should root for, but most of the time I do it light-heartedly (which can lead to one of the most disgraceful brackets in the history of the NCAA tournament). But here, I really need to ask the question: how can you not root for Butler?
Seriously, unless you went to UConn, you’re related to someone on the team, or you’re one of those idiots who do the opposite of everyone else just to prove a point, is there any way you can pull for the Huskies? Yes, they are on a historic run. Winning 10 elimination games in a row is impressive, but it’s no Butler.
Butler winning the national championship might be the greatest thing to ever happen in American sports. Hell, their run to the finals might even already be the best thing we’ve ever seen. What makes them so great is that they defy and confirm the definitions we have for these smaller, lesser-known, Cinderella schools. They’re not scrappy underdogs, but, at the same time, they are.
Improbably, they made the finals last year. And even more improbably, they’re back this year after losing the best player in school history. Sure, as a whole, Butler is an underdog, considering their limited tradition and lack of resources. Their odds of back-to-back title games were 7,500 to 1. But, at the same time, they’re anything but underdogs. They deserve to be here. They’ve hung with any and every team, proving they can play every type of basketball and win any kind of game.
They’re the little guys, but they’re damn good too.
There’s nothing not to love about Butler.
—Photo AP/Amy Sancetta