How March Madness Turned Utterly Predictable

Is the NCAA tourney becoming predictable?

When you sat down to fill out your tournament bracket this year, what did you do? Did you go wild with upsets? Did you splash in some surprises while playing it by the book? Or did you trust the committee, pay attention to the seeds, and chalk your way through to the Final Four?

If you chose the latter, then you already know: the 2009 NCAA tournament is more bereft of upsets than ever before.

Take a look around the bracket. The seedings are as follows:

East: 1-2-3-4.
South: 1-2-3-4.
West: 1-2-3-5.
Midwest: 1-2-3-12.

That's all four one, two, and three seeds, with the lone outlier No. 12 being the ... drum roll ... Arizona Wildcats. What a Cinderella story!

Those numbers are good for the chalkiest NCAA tourney of all-time, which is either one of two things: a brief aberration, or the latest in a top-heavy trend. If it's the former, whatever, right? Mid-majors will regroup and come back next year and mix in some upsets, and the tournament will be back to normal. If it's a trend, well, that's more troubling. The NCAA tournament's greatness lies in its unpredictability. It's what separates it from the NBA playoffs, what makes it the greatest one-month sporting event on the calendar. If it becomes predictable -- if the best 16 teams in the country always, without exception, advance -- it runs the risk of losing its appeal.

Who knows if that's the case? More likely, it's a one-year thing. Let's hope so, anyway. No one wants to watch an NCAA tournament where Bryce Drew and Stephen Curry don't exist.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger who might just be bitter at how bad his bracket is. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, Follow him on Twitter.

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