Fatal Flaws: NCAA Tournament Edition

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By Brett Ungashick 

Every fan base is using this four day dead zone before the Sweet 16 to convince themselves that their team has what it takes to win the title. Let’s put a damper on those hopes before your team chokes away a game they shouldn’t have lost to an inferior opponent, and you start ending lifelong relationships because BleacherReport gave you the “5 Reasons Your Team Is Never Going To Lose Again.”

Louisville – Rick Pitino is dead. He once called Kentucky the “Roman Empire of College Basketball.” He was a successful citizen of the Empire, left before he took too much power, built up a strong contingent in a neighboring area and last weekend he returned to Lexington in convincing fashion with his new army. Are we sure he made it out of Rupp Arena? Y tu Brute?

Miami – You guys think that being the oldest team in the tournament is an advantage (average age = 22.5 for the starters) and yeah experience is helpful… when you actually have experience. However, seeing that your roster has combined for 0 games past the first weekend of the tournament will make you more 40 Year Old Virgin than Touch of Gray.

Ohio State – Some people are born with names that inspire greatness – names like Babe Ruth, Dick Butkus and Champ Bailey. Other people are born with the name Thad. You’ve really had quite a bit of success despite your poor luck. I’ve got you just behind Thad Castle in my list of favorite Thads but you’ve clearly peaked already.

Kansas – You have to leave Kansas City for your next games. You know, the place where the foul disparity was 27 to 46 in your favor. Despite the home cooking, you were still able to insult James Naismith with your shooting against teams with which you should have matched up favorably. 

Duke – In the last 17 years, you have only made the Final Four when you are a 1 seed. You guys don’t pull off upsets, mostly because you haven’t needed to. However, when the day comes that Coach K stops dying his hair and you go back to being the underdogs, you’re going to have to buck that trend.

Wichita State – It’s not that you’ve done anything wrong or will do something wrong, it’s just that we’ve run out of clever headlines. After beating Pittsburgh, we called it an “electric win” and after burying top-seeded Gonzaga we said you guys “shocked the world.” That’s all we’ve got. Sorry, but your time’s up.

Michigan – We get it, Wolverines, your dads used to play basketball. Guess what? No one wins national championships because of their famous dads. You know why teams win championships? Famous moms. Joakim Noah has two rings and his mom was Miss Sweden 1978. Anthony Davis would be nowhere if not for Frida Kahlo. 

Arizona – I’ve rounded up a number of tournament failures in my day, and you look like one of them. You look like you don’t belong in these parts. Can I see your papers? Yes, your resumé. Just for a second. Just as I thought, we’re shipping you back to the NIT. What? Am I profiling you Arizona? Not so fun, is it?

Michigan State – You may not know this but Detroit is home to more stray dogs than people. With several people from the Detroit metroplex, Michigan State would hold a decided advantage over teams with dog related mascots due to their familiarity with the species. Unfortunately there are no more dog named teams left. Bye, bye Sparty.

La Salle – You’re sponsored by Under Armour. You know which other remaining teams are sponsored by Under Armour? None of them. When you lose, do you know whose company you will join in the “chose a horrendous sponsor AND are out of the tournament” group? Youngstown State and Nichols College.

Florida – Everyone wants to make a big deal about the fact that you guys are 0 and 6 in games decided by less than 10 points. However, no one is talking about the Tim Tebow Rule. Tim Tebow was on campus from 2005 – 2010. In that span, the basketball team won 2 national titles. In the 105 other years that Florida has played basketball – 0 titles.  

Indiana – Tom Crean is color blind. He gets confused by the classic stripped Indiana warmups and thinks that he is coaching a bunch of referees. With fairness in mind, he sits his two All-Americans in critical situations, resulting in a more well-rounded basketball experience where the top seed doesn’t always win.

Syracuse – Syracuse is the smartest school in the country. While every other school pours ungodly amounts of money into their athletic programs in order to raise their national profile, Syracuse pours money into its journalism school and has all of their graduates tell you how good they are. It worked well enough to get you a high seed and favorable match- ups, but it wont take you all the way.

Marquette – Green Bay in December is where championship teams come to test their mettle. If a football team loses to Green Bay in a hard fought battle, they come away tougher and ready for the playoffs. When a college basketball team loses to Green Bay, you make a note to yourself to never trust them the rest of the year. 

Oregon – Everyone knows that Oregon’s recent rise to the upper echelon of collegiate athletic programs is due to their ace in the hole. No, not Phil Knight. The Sideline Flashcards. However, according to NCAA statute a team is forbidden to bring outside materials to the bench that could be deemed “distracting or advantageous to one side.”

Florida Gulf Coast – We can’t think of one reason not to pick you guys. Seriously, not one. You had the ESPN Live Look-In of the Year. Just go out there and make us proud, we know you will.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.