March Madness is supposed to be a time of wonder.
A time of joy.
A time when plucky mid-major darlings get to hone their swords against the Big Boys of the sport. It is pure magic that we, in the year of 2023, get to watch Florida Atlantic AND San Diego State make their first-ever Final Four appearances — against one another no less!
In all this, however, there are some among us in the Twitterverse who are being Scrooges and aren’t in the March Madness Spirit.
Tweets with buzzwords like “ratings,” “executives,” “CBS hates this,” and “doesn’t belong” flood my timeline. Discourse saying this Final Four sucks is being perpetuated by hordes of men who, on a close inspection of their Twitter bios and handles, may suffer from a specific type of brain rot.
Yes, of course, football. Some college football personalities, some NFL, but all football, sharing similar trash takes about the wonder of college basketball and sticking their pigskinned fingers into our joyous sport.
Let’s run through some of the Tweets that made me want to blog about it
Noted great journalist Ivan Maisel (seriously, his work is great!) tweeted a story that this Final Four has TOO MANY underdogs — leaving out the fact that San Diego State (won the Mountain West) and Florida Atlantic (won the Conference USA) are far from traditional underdogs. In fact, the argument that FAU was woefully underseeded has only gotten more steam during the Owls’ run.
He also egregiously compared the SDSU-FAU pairing to the New Mexico Bowl — which most recently featured 8-5 BYU and 7-6 SMU, mediocre teams who are a far cry from what Aztecs and Owls are to the sport of college basketball.
We’ve had two draining, entertaining, give-us-more weeks of March Madness. But there’s one problem with an AutoFill Final Four: you can’t have a David without a Goliath. My column: https://t.co/KBBvkHkQVS— Ivan Maisel (@Ivan_Maisel) March 27, 2023
Stewart Mandel, the EIC for The Athletic’s college football vertical, had a TWO doozies. First, which he deleted after being promptly dumped on leading to a swift backpeddal, in which he called the NCAA Tournament “watered down.”
And, second from Stew, this gem in which he left out important context that Tobin Anderson was a finalist for the job before Rick Pitino was hired in the first place at Iona.
This happens every year, someone gets hired off one big tourney win. Hope he does well, but what a bizarre hiring strategy. https://t.co/FDdIzSp75q— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) March 21, 2023
Ben Volin, senior NFL writer at the Boston Globe, fired off a take that simply surmised that the college basketball regular season was meaningless, and had the AUDACITY to use the PGA Tour (GOLF OF ALL SPORTS) as inspiration for change.
March Madness is incredible, but it renders the four months of regular season completely meaningless. Maybe the NCAA should let the higher seeds start each game with a lead, like the PGA Tour Championship— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) March 25, 2023
Greg Waddell, who is also a college basketball guy to give him some credit, had the idea that this Final Four is more like the Myrtle Beach Invite, which honestly is kinda funny, but is OBJECTIVELY WRONG.
I may completely change my tune by Thursday but for now I beg of you all:— Greg Waddell (@gwizzy12) March 26, 2023
We don’t have to act like this is good for the sport. We can love the magic that is FAU or Miami’s or SDSU’s SDSUness without pretending this is better than 4 actual great teams playing well in March https://t.co/2rbFRANNFL
I shouldn’t include this one, if only because this account must know what it is doing with this rage bait but I am falling for it. The Twitter account for the nerds over at RedditCFB just wanted us to think of the poor TV executives in their ivory towers looking at us poor folk.
TV execs seeing the Florida Atlantic-San Diego State matchup in the Final Four pic.twitter.com/9Ww63dTUIA— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) March 26, 2023
Kevin Negandhi, regular college football personality for ESPN, did the tired “Gonzaga bad” tweet and was promptly subtweeted by friend of the program Kyle Kensing (we love Kyle here).
Oh good, we get to do this stuff for another year pic.twitter.com/tDZEbrmqYT— Kyle Kensing (@KyleKensing) March 26, 2023
ChrisKBills came into the replies of friend of MMM @morrisoncrying by stating a league that features four teams in postseason final fours (Charlotte won the CBI, one of North Texas/UAB will win the NIT, FAU in the NCAAT), had nobody for the Owls to play.
Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.
They played nobody in Conference USA— Chris, The Sad and Miserable Bills Fan (@ChrisKBills) March 26, 2023
And, lastly, this misogynist tweet by David Hookstead, who writes for Outkick (barf), and likely failed media literacy, asking “why women?”
ESPN has gone so woke its top two stories today are about women's college basketball.— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) March 21, 2023
Not the men's tournament, not NFL free agency and not the upcoming NFL draft.
Women's college basketball takes the top two spots at ESPN. Who is asking for this? pic.twitter.com/JTh8NaAEn9
Anyways, I end this rant with this: Be more like Magic Johnson. Don’t be a Scrooge McPigskin. Enjoy the hoops, everyone.
This NCAA Tournament has been the most exciting because there have been so many upsets and so many close games that came down to the wire in both the men’s and women’s tournaments.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 26, 2023