As the threat of war looms, March Madness plays on

Amid the turmoil and times of uncertainty around the world, I think its time to focus on what’s really important: the NCAA tournament. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I said the NCAA tourney. Although it is highly likely that by the time this article goes to print the United States will be engaged in a war with Iraq, NCAA President Myles Brand has stated that today the NCAA men’s tourney will commence – with the Women’s tourney starting Saturday.

Before you readers take pen to paper and start writing letters to the editor condemning the fact that I stated that the tournament is important, I would just like to make all those reading my article aware of something: I do support the U. S. soldiers in the Middle East because they are there for a cause. Would I like to see us go to war? Not really. The fact of the matter is though that President Bush is doing whatever he thinks is right for the country (although I believe he should have listened more closely to how U.S. citizens felt about war instead of ignoring it).

The NCAA tournament provides a welcome distraction from the terrors of war. This not to say that those watching the tourney aren’t watching war developments as they unfold. It’s just that those watching the tournament would rather distract themselves for a few hours so that they aren’t in fear of what’s happening abroad.

With that said, I would like to bring up the issue of how the NCAA selection committee messed up this year. I would just like someone to explain to me how the Big East conference got snubbed this year and how Auburn got in. According to www.ESPN.com, the majority of the teams “on the bubble” (ex: Butler) got in whereas those that were established teams who had won some games (ex: Syracuse) were left out to dry. Also, I would like some clarification why Arizona and Duke got put in the same bracket and how Brigham Young University was put in a bracket where they are going to have to play games on Friday and Sunday. As most know, BYU, Brigham Young University, is a staunchly religious- affiliated school and therefore does not play on Sunday. Can you imagine what would happen if BYU actually beat the University of Connecticut in the first round and advanced? Well, aside from my bubble bursting, the entire tournament would be in a state of flux. I wonder what the selection committee was wondering. Early Tuesday, there was talk of postponing the games out of respect for those soldiers that are overseas. Late Tuesday, however, Bush along with Brand decided that the games indeed would go on. I wouldn’t have minded if the games were postponed but now that they are not going to be, I must say this: here’s to hoping that all goes well with the war, the NCAA tournament and the team I chose to win it all (the Maryland Terrapins) on their quest to repeat this year.

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