Talent Pool

by - March 21, 2010 - - Comment Now »

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I just watched my team (Maryland) lose at the buzzer and I’m not that upset about it. It’s disappointing but not as devastating as it should be. Why? Because they don’t have enough talent to win the whole thing (I knew they would win the title in 2002; they had the best players). That is the case for most teams around the country. It’s also the reason why there have been so many nail-biters and surprises this March. Who would’ve thought that a dearth of talent could lead to an abundance of excitement?

The talent level is down all over college basketball. There really is no argument against this. If a player is good enough, he is heading to the pros as soon as he is eligible (some guys even go overseas to avoid a one-year tenure at a university). John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins will not be on Kentucky’s roster next year. There is no such thing as dynastic level classes and programs anymore. The Wildcats probably won’t have half as much talent next year (change that to might not, I wouldn’t put it past Calipari to somehow recruit a pro player back to college). Kentucky is the exception that proves the rule. You don’t get a chance to see many stud NBA prospects play in college for very long. That is a negative for the level of play but not for the quality of the tournament.

Two of the favorites that were upset this weekend are perfect examples of this. Kansas was led by senior guard Sherron Collins and Villanova by senior guard Scottie Reynolds. There is a reason both of those guys were playing as seniors. They are middling pro prospects at best. But this means that powerhouse programs like Kansas, the number one overall seed in the tournament, are poachable by the likes of Northern Iowa. The entire playing field has been leveled. Mid-major teams are not playing against future pros anymore. At least not many of them.

March Madness does not feature basketball at it’s highest level. In fact, the level of play has deteriorated. That doesn’t mean the competitiveness of the games has suffered. Quite the opposite. March Madness may become crazier than ever. Just look at my, and nearly everyone else’s, bracket.

I’m still rolling with Kentucky though. They’ve got the best players.

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