Why the NBA Playoffs Can't Compete with March Madness

Jennifer TaglioneCorrespondent IApril 28, 2009

Which came first: March Madness or the NBA Playoffs? Because whoever scheduled one right after the other is an idiot.

I have been trying for the last week to get myself all hyped up for the NBA drama, without much success. I just can’t get excited about the NBA Playoffs coming off of the NCAA Tourney.

Back when I was in high school, before I started watching college basketball, I used to love the NBA postseason. I’ll even admit that I got into the Finals last year. But that was under severe duress from my father, who refused to put anything else on if the Celtics were playing. Including American Idol!

Plus, last year I missed all of March Madness. I was fiending for basketball boys.

I finally sat down to write my “Whooo Hoooo NBA Playoffs!!!!!!!” piece today, figuring I must have missed so much because the first round began a week and a half ago. I was expecting to be completely overwhelmed. I mean, if you miss the first round of the NCAA Tourney and then sit down to report it, forget it, you’ll never catch up.

After a week and half in March Madness, four rounds were finished, 64 teams were whittled down to the Final Four and there was only a week left of the NCAA Tournament.

You want to know what has happened after a week and a half in the NBA Playoffs?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

(Pause for NBA enthusiasts to yell and swear loudly. Feel free to write all negative “you suck” comments below. Are you done? Good.)

So far, the original 16 teams were whittled to…14. The first round isn’t even finished. And there are still two months left of the playoffs.

Yes, LeBron and the Cavs swept the Pistons and the Lakers almost swept the Jazz, but that is hardly shocking news now isn't it?

And yes, the field could be whittled to 12 tonight since two teams are up 3-1 in the best of seven series. Whoo hoo! But, they are only on Game Five in the seven series and the other half of the matchups are tied 2-2. So in theory, the first round could last another week.

Wanna try the “Well, then you haven’t been watching the Bulls-Celtics series” argument?

Yup, I missed all four games, including the double OT one. Apparently, they were all nail-biters. But you know what,  it doesn’t even matter. There are still three more games left in the series.

Here’s the thing: In the NCAA Tourney, you have to watch every game because a nail-biter means your team either hits the last second shot and moves on, or they go home. In the NBA Playoffs, there can be six nail-biters, six last-second shots, and it can still mean that your team is coming back tomorrow to try again.

It’s hardly do or die. More like, do, die, come back to life, die again…etc. The NBA Playoffs commercials are right, that is “amazing!”

The only other argument that has been given to try and get me excited about these best-of-seven matchups is, “There is no doubt that the level of play intensifies in the NBA postseason.”

Yes, very true. The players are  now actually earning their $20 million contracts. Congrats. NCAA players play just as well in the postseason and most of them don’t have $20 million contracts waiting for them in the NBA.


Despite all that, I’m going to try really hard to get excited, get involved, and not be too biased against the playoffs. Truth is, I really like the Celtics, I have a major thing developing for LeBron James, and basketball is my favorite sport to watch.

I’m just pointing out that if someone stuck the NBA Playoffs two or three months after March Madness, I bet I would be much more excited and eager to watch the two long months of games.


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