Before I get called a power-hungry elitist, just hear me out...
Butler and VCU are both great stories.
- Virginia Commonwealth Rams: From being ripped for even being in the field of 68, to now being two games away from being crowned national champion.
- Butler Bulldogs: Back-to-back Final Four appearances. 9-1 in their last 10 tournament games. Who would have thought, right?
Ahh, America loves the underdogs. But do we love underdog vs. Cinderella, and do we actually like underdog/ Cinderella getting a shot or even winning it all? There is no doubt that America loves David vs. Goliath. If you don't believe me, go look at the ratings for the 2011 Rose Bowl and last year's national championship game between Butler and Duke. Saturday will be the test on America to see if we really care when it's Cinderella vs. underdog.
Heck, even the other side of the bracket has compelling stories. Look at Connecticut. With arguably the best player in the country in Kemba Walker the Huskies still have enough gas in the tank from their physically and emotionally draining Big East championship run. As for the Kentucky Wildcats, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones have the shot at doing what John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, and three other first-round draft picks could not do, and that is win an national championship.
Alright. I get it. I get it. America loves story lines and America loves the underdog. But something I believe that America wants more than anything is competition. If they didn't, sites like this aren't made and what the hell are sports even for?
Competition decides who is best. America wants the best and they want to know WHO is the best of the best. Is UConn the best team in the land, even when it finished ninth in its own conference? Is Kentucky the best team in the country? It lost six road games inside the SEC.
Granted, you could make cases for and against every big-name school in America, and the shoe could fit for UConn and Kentucky. But are you ready to declare Butler or VCU as the best college basketball team in the nation?
"Great" and "very good" intrigue us more than "mediocrity" with momentum. Everyone loves to see the little guy get a shot, but when the little guy capitalizes, does America really like it? Tell me. Would you rather see VCU vs. Butler, or would you rather see Butler vs. Kansas or even two powerhouses like Kansas and Florida go at it for a shot at the championship game?
In my opinion, the bottom line is this: This has been one of the weakest years ever in college basketball; this Final Four proves that theory well. While Butler and VCU made it, don't tell me you wouldn't rather see legit, great/very good teams fighting for the title as the best basketball team in the tournament.