March Madness is one thing that galvanizes a nation. It doesn't matter who you are, everyone always has a theory on who is going to win and how they are going to get it done. The teams, the unpredictability, the pageantry and the impact stories that come from it are must-see television. Unfortunately for all the teams competing, there can only be one winner when all the madness is over. Some of these things happening are great to watch and observe, but there are other things that aren't exactly the best.
The great thing that always happens in March Madness is a Cinderella team comes to the main stream. This season it is Loyola-Chicago with their run extending to the Final Four currently. When these type of teams no one knows start making serious noise in the Tournament, it captures the attention of the casual fan and really ignites some fans who would have otherwise been silent. The NCAA definitely enjoys this boost because it allows them to pocket more money with more viewership. The kids do get something out of this. There are some of these kids that get their stories told on the national scene where no one otherwise would know what they are up to and what things they are doing. Along with that, teams and players on teams many people don't see become media darlings, especially if they make it deep in the tourney.
The attention and money can be good things, but there is always a down side to these tournaments and it really lies with the NCAA. The NCAA is a well-oiled money machine and the product they push is the kids. They parade them out there for everyone to see and they don't really get paid for how much they make. The schools and coaches are making out like bandits while these kids are not getting a dime. That should change and that should change immediately. The NCAA knows it and so does majority of people watching the games. Another thing that is awful is the NCAA uses the one-and-done rule to get people to tune in. A lot of these kids who are high-school All-Americans have no interest in going to college. Because of this rule though, they have to go to school for at least one year and play for a college of their choice. The colleges and the NCAA get mad when some of these scandals happen, but the way the system is, some of these kids need the money more than they need the one year of school and the have the skills to get drafted and not do the one-year bid. March Madness is but a mere celebration of the NCAA getting those prized players to the big stage and making money off them like they do selling the nameless jerseys that everyone knows who the player is.
March Madness is a fun event to watch with all the unpredictability. While that is fun to watch, the NCAA pocketing all this money while the kids don't see a dime isn't fun to see happen over and over again. Eventually, something will have to change in the one-and-done rule and the way the NCAA gets rich off these kids' backs.