Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
19 March 2018
NCAA Tournament winners and losers. Upsets worth it?
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament showcases its share of winners and losers. (Sorry, Virginia! There is no Santa Claus.) March Madness represents my favorite sporting event on the calendar, but this one is particularly fascinating.
Let’s take a brief look at the winners and losers of the NCAA Tournament from a brand perspective.
Winners: Upsets. I can’t remember when so many top seeds fell on the first weekend. There was, of course, the Virginia loss, the first time a No. 1 seed lost to a 16. But like the Walls of Jericho, down went Xavier (another No. 1 seed) and Arizona (sporting the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft). Adding to the list, Cincinnati, Michigan State and, tears from around here, North Carolina. The weekend was a smorgasbord of upsets.
Losers: The rest of the tournament. Here’s where it gets tricky. There are still some blue bloods left. Duke, Kentucky and Kansas are breathing. But if we end up with a Final Four of Loyola Chicago, Florida State, Syracuse and West Virginia, we’re going to lament all those upsets.
The brand of the NCAA Tournament says there will be exciting upsets in the early rounds. And the powerhouses battle it out in the remaining rounds. We all love upsets until it gets closer to the Final Four.
“But now we won’t see Arizona-Kentucky, Virginia against the winner, Michigan State-Duke or Michigan-North Carolina. Maybe all those upsets aren’t a good thing, after all.”
So, yes, for the sake of interest in the tournament, we’re going to pull for Duke, Kentucky and Kansas from here on out.
NCAA Tournament brings us UMBC Twitter and Sister Jean
Winners: People getting their 15 minutes fame. There’s the UMBC Twitter runner, Zach Seidel, who enjoys the Retrievers once-in-a-lifetime win over Virginia more than anyone. Especially when trolling Seth Davis of CBS and The Athletic. Davis, known for tweeting “Sharpie” when he’s sure a team locks down a win, tweeted that before the opening tip of Virginia-UMBC.
Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, the 98-year-old chaplain at Loyola-Chicago, an advancer to the Sweet 16. If there was a team that seems to have God on its side, it’s the Ramblers.
Losers: Oh, you don’t think there will be backlash? What decade are you living in? We’ll tire of Seidel and Sister Jean. Well, UMBC finally lost. (In a near-unwatchable game versus Kansas State.) Don’t think people are going to rush to the UMBC Twitter account anymore, and consider Seidel’s tweets sophomoric.
It’s difficult to imagine anyone turning on Sister Jean, but that’s the world we live in. God on their side? He’s got that much time on His hands?
As mentioned before, the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament thrills. But if it continues, then March Madness will be so mad fewer and fewer of us will tune in. Yay, upsets! But now we won’t see Arizona-Kentucky, Virginia against the winner, Michigan State-Duke or Michigan-North Carolina. Maybe all those upsets aren’t a good thing, after all.
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