March Madness 2011: 64 Reasons It's Better Than The Super Bowl

Wiley BirkhoferContributor IFebruary 8, 2011

March Madness 2011: 64 Reasons It's Better Than The Super Bowl

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    March Madness 2011: 64 Reasons It's Better Than The Super Bowl

    Was there ever any doubt in your mind?

    Four 15-minute quarters of stop 'n' go action or 67 games of heart-wrenching, plot-twisting, good ol' fashioned euphoria?

    You can have the Super Bowl.  I'll take March Madness.

    The problem used to be that March offered too many games to watch.  This year, burden has become blessing.

    The NCAA has increased the field to 68 teams, meaning that we'll be subject to 67 games in 2011.  Trust me on the math.

    Also trust me that the new play-in games will only add to the madness.  With Thuuz.com now offering a free, live "drop everything and watch this game" service, you can safely miss all the boring games without risking a thriller slipping through your fingers.  At the very least, you can TiVo the must-not-watch-only-highlights games.

    Without further ado, I present: 64 Reasons March Madness is Better than the Super Bowl.

64. Quantity

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    The numbers don't lie.  Or rather, the Law of Large Numbers.  I promise I didn't make it up.

    One game has the potential to be thrilling, but it also has the potential to bore, e.g., Super Bowl XL or XLI (Steelers-Seahawks and Colts-Bears).

    67 games are a lock for entertainment.  The blowouts are in there, but can be forgiven because of the 20-30 seat-grippers that are bound to bless your television set.

    When the NFL expands to 68 teams, I'll be willing to reconsider this point.  Until then, chalk up one point for college basketball.

63. The Upset Factor

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    With the exception of Drew Brees' Saints, when was the last time a true underdog won the Super Bowl?

    In March Madness, it happens as easily as one pronounces Stephen Curry.  Steph led the little-known Davidson to the Regional Finals his sophomore year.  LeBron James attended the game. Now that's excitement.

    There's always a chance George Mason will qualify for the Super Bowl in 2012 and LeBron James will botch the National Anthem, but for now, March Madness has the upset factor working in its favor.

63. Passion

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    I don't care what you say, the overall effort in college basketball exceeds that of the Super Bowl.

    NFL players certainly up the ante for the Super Bowl, but it's unquestionably less palpable than March basketball.

    I get a distinctly tingly feeling up my arms when I imagine some unknown freshman hurling his body into the stands to save a ball from going out of bounds.  Mind you, this is round of 64.

    I don't get the same emotion watching Aaron Rodgers outsmart Troy Polamalu.  They're giving 100%, but it's just not the same.

62. Bracketology

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    Betting on the Super Bowl, or the NFL playoffs for that matter, is fun.

    Winning your March Madness pool is that word which isn't a word: funner.

    On participation alone, March Madness has this one.  Any event which entire populations place bets on and follow with a religious fervor deserves some sort of award.  The "I'm a bad influence on people who otherwise don't gamble" award?

    I don't know, but filling out a bracket is a highlight of the year even for folks who pick their teams based on mascot.

61. The Final Four

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    I know the Final Four is just a fancy name for semi-finals, but it truly captures a mystique unknown by other sports.

    In football, for example, reaching your AFC or NFC Divisional Championship game is not considered much of an accomplishment.

    In basketball, on the other hand, reaching the Final Four means instant celebrity status.  Prepare for students to ask you to sign their babies.  Or bald heads if they're not ready to be parents.

    Cut down that net!

60. Anybody Can Win

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    The best team in the NFL often wins the Super Bowl.

    Only once have all four number one seeds advanced to the Final Four. 

    A number one seed wins the tournament 62% of the time. That team is rarely the number one overall seed.

    March Madness measures something more than whose roster is most talented.  It measures effort.  I legitimately believe that any decent team can will themselves through the tournament.  Basketball is just more conducive to it than football. 

    Even if he is the most meglomaniacal genius in football, Bill Belichick has no place in a gymnasium.  There is a place in basketball for schemes and diagrams, but when it comes down to it, it's blood, sweat, and tears.

59. Cheerleaders

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    The Super Bowl did not have any cheerleaders this year.

    I repeat: the Super Bowl did not have any cheerleaders this year.

    March Madness, on the other hand, is chock full of them.  Cute, female ones. And deranged, male ones.  College basketball fans, male and female, are one passionate group.  The following slides are an homage to the fans that embody what makes basketball so great.

58. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Georgia Tech cutie.

57. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    'Lotta love for UCLA.

56. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Michigan Wolverine.

55. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Texas Longhorn.

54. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Go Trojans!

53. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Avid Washington fan.

52. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Tournament emotions running high.

51. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    I'm guessing southern belle.

50. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Lucky devil.

49. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Go Mountaineers!

48. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Getting ready for the big dance.

47. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Minnesota Golden Gopher.

46. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Founder of the blue-woman group.

45. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Michigan State Spartan.

44. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Syracuse Orangewoman.

43. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Three Jayhawks sitting in a tree.

42. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Tennessee Volunteer.

41. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Go Buckeyes!

40. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Kansas Jayhawk.

39. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Well done, ma'am.

38. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    UConn Huskie.

37. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Basketball requires balance.

36. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Memphis Tiger.

35. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Purdue Boilermaker.

34. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    North Carolina Tar Heel.

33. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    UCLA Bruin.

32. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Colorado Buffalo.

31. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Sportin' the jersey.

30. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Jayhawks doin' their thang.

29. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Cheering on her buckeyes.

28. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    I am not capable of this.

27. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Go get 'em!

26. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    March Madness free fall.

25. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Smile for Kansas!

24. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Louisville Cardinal.

23. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Ta Da!

22. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    USC Trojan.

21. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Greg Oden Who?

20. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Go Heels!  Tar Heels, that is.

19. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Wake Forest Deacon.

18. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    A bona fide Dukie.

17. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Nice teeth.  Nice poms.  Go Bruins!

16. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Go Devils!

15. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Hook 'em horns.

14. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Missouri Tiger.

13. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Seven is better than one, no?

12. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Jayhawks getting in the spirit.

11. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Ohio State Buckeye.

10. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    80's cheerleader!

9. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Go Memphis!

8. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Viva los Tigres!

7. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Go Cowboys!

6. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Shouldn't she be paying attention?

5. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Red on red.  An excellent combination.

4. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Oklahoma State Cowboy.

3. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Very mysterious...

2. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Texas A&M...you done good.

1. Cheerleaders (cont.)

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    Which school do you think has the cutest cheerleaders?

    Enjoy March Madness!