NCAA Bracket 2011: 10 Reasons the NFL Is Better Than March Madness
March Madness, which tipped off on Tuesday night, is one of the most exciting tournaments in American sports and is certainly much more popular than the college basketball regular season.
Between the fact that 68 teams make the tournament, as well as the single-elimination factor, March Madness provides plenty of drama for both players and fans.
However, as exciting as March Madness is, it is not as great as the NFL, which is currently the most popular sport in the country by a mile.
Here are 10 reasons why the NFL is better than March Madness.
10. Longer Games
NFL games last just over three hours, on average, allowing teams to scope out their opponents and make adjustments throughout the game.
This is a full hour longer than March Madness games, even when you factor in commercials, timeouts and free throws. With such short games, there is very little room for error, as we often see games come down to one big run.
9. Fewer Teams
When watching the NCAA tournament, we oftentimes don't know much about many of the teams until the third or fourth round.
A big part of this is the fact that there are more teams that make the NCAA tournament (68) than there are teams in the entire NFL (32).
As a result, it is tough to get very invested and passionate about March Madness matchups that don't involve our favorite teams.
8. Better Athletes
While you can argue that football players are more or less the same, in terms of athleticism, as basketball players, most would agree that college basketball players, typically in the range of 18 to 22 years old, are less athletic than NFL pro athletes.
College basketball talent has also been watered down in recent years due to so many great players leaving after one year for the NBA draft.
7. More Physical Game
As competitive as the NCAA tournament can be, there are rules preventing charging, loose-ball contact and moving screens.
In the NFL, teams are able to use their desire to knock down the opponent to their benefit, whether it be by hitting, tackling or simply intimidating opponents.
6. Enthusiastic Crowds
In the NFL, games other than the Super Bowl are rarely ever played on a neutral site. This allows home fans to support their team and potentially even help their team win by screaming so loudly that the opposing team has trouble communicating which play is called.
This is very different from March Madness, in which the crowd is composed of many neutral fans that may stay for several games at a time.
5. Fewer Games
The NFL has a shorter regular season than college basketball, as well as a shorter postseason than March Madness.
As a result, each NFL game is magnified, with teams and players giving 100 percent on just about every play.
Once an NFL team makes the postseason, the games become even more intense, as teams can win the championship with three or four wins, as opposed to six or seven in the case of March Madness.
4. Unsung Heroes
During the NCAA tournament, most teams know who the best scorers and most dominant big guys are, so the story tends to be whether or not the select number of star players can get the job done.
This is very different from the NFL, which consists of offense, defense and special teams, with a wide variety of players contributing to each aspect of the game. As a result, there tends to be a different storyline and hero for each NFL game.
3. More Strategy
In big part due to the lack of time to prepare for your next opponent, much of the action during March Madness is improvised, with a lot of poor decisions being made. This leads to a lot of wide-open shots and player mismatches.
In the NFL, on the other hand, teams have a week to prepare for their opponents, including team coordinators that call complex plays, as well as audibles before the snap designed to throw off opponents.
2. Stronger Legacies
In the NFL, we see dynasties and franchise players that fans can cherish for a number of years.
Rarely do we see this in college basketball because of so many elite college basketball athletes only staying in school one year before leaving for the NBA. This takes away any chance of these athletes building a strong legacy with multiple championships.
1. More Parity
The NFL draft allows bad teams to pick up top prospects, while the salary cap prevents rich teams from spending significantly more than their opponents
There is very little parity in college basketball, on the other hand, because top high school prospects tend to sign with big-name schools that have a lot of history.
Out of the 68 teams that make the tournament, only about a quarter have a realistic chance of winning their region. This is very different from the NFL, wherein the majority of teams believe they will make the playoffs before the season begins, and if a team is fortunate enough to make the postseason, it usually has at least a small chance of winning it all.