Saturday, March 27, 2010


Wow, Butler has pulled it off and made it into the Final Four! Who would have thought that Syracuse and Kansas State would topple at the hands of Butler? I guess a lot of people probably did, but after watching Syracuse a few times throughout the year, I had thought that they had a pretty easy path to at least the Elite Eight. Well, I was right there, but my next prediction about them making it to the Final Four was obviously wrong. Butler has been to the NCAA tournament quite a few times in recent years, but why is it that many teams who are so-called "mid-majors" do not get the recognition that they are proving they deserve

Well, one obvious reason is media coverage. This area is improving due to efforts such as ESPNU and other networks that focus on college sports. Because there are so many NCAA teams and only so much network time on ESPN and ESPN2 for college sports throughout the season, the few games that are broadcast often feature Duke, UNC, Kansas, or any other university that has become all but a perennial powerhouse. While Butler has been very successful, they have yet to develop that national image that will secure them a spot on the major networks. Because of this, many average sports fans will overlook the mid-major. Even I underestimated Butler; I knew they were good, but I never thought they could topple the Orangemen.

Another reason that Butler could be seen as a surprise by people such as myself is because of geography. Syracuse is much closer than Butler; Boston College plays in the ACC, so teams such as Duke and North Carolina come closer to home. When the local teams are covered as they should be, that leaves limited time for teams from faraway lands such as Indiana. Those flat states often times get forgotten in Vermont simply because we like to think that the more local teams that we have watched all season.

However, none of this constitutes a viable excuse for my neglecting Butler. I guess I need to be more aware next season in order to make a bracket that doesn't end up being covered in red ink.

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