NCAA Basketball Tournament: Is There Parity in College Basketball?

Jerry HuertaContributor IMarch 24, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY - MARCH 20:  Marc Sonnen #23 of the Northern Iowa Panthers drives against Cole Aldrich #45 of the Kansas Jayhawks during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Ford Center on March 20, 2010 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Is there parity in college basketball?

This is the main question in the minds of college basketball fans all across the nation. Especially, after this past weekend, when there bunch of upsets happened. This year, the madness all started on the first day of the tournament.

Old Dominion started off the upsets by beating Notre Dame, and the upsets continued throughout the day with the 14th-seed Ohio Bobcats defeating the third-seeded seed Georgetown Hoyas.

Murray State also won by defeating fourth-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores. The final upset of the day was the 10th-seed Washington Huskies defeating the sixth-seed Marquette Golden Eagles.

The upsets continued throughout the first round and also in the second round, when notable programs such as Kansas, New Mexico, and Villanova were defeated.

Now, the teams that are going to the Sweet 16 are teams you don't normally hear about, like Saint Marys, Northern Iowa, Cornell, and Washington. Also, there are teams that are considered mid-majors, Butler and Xavier, who have been in this position before.

All these teams are in the Sweet 16, and the fans are used to hearing these names. They are used to seeing the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Kansas Jayhawks, the Connecticut Huskies, but not this year. Most of those teams were not even in the NCAA Tournament this year.

The question is how the lower-seeded teams are upsetting all the big name schools.

One answer to that is due to the one and done rule: players can leave their school after one year and enter the NBA Draft. A lot of players choose the money over exams and homework.

This is a negative for the top programs across the nation because there isn't any chemistry between the players, and if there is, it is gone after they leave. Then, the remaining players have to establish it again.

Another factor is whether or not the top programs should recruit the top high school talent because of the chance they might leave after one year.

The positive perspective of recruiting the top talent is that your team will be great and this could lead to a national championship. The downside to that is if they leave early, they can affect the talent level and chemistry level on the team.

The teams that have been winning in the NCAA Tournament have been the teams with a lot of experience. The only exception is Northern Iowa: they are young but they have been playing together for a couple of years. They have formed good chemistry and it has been apparent in their wins.

The answer to the question, is there parity in college basketball? Yes, parity is present in college basketball.  This is because of the loss of talent on all of the top teams and the experience of the mid-majors.

The mid-majors have closed the gap and this year, one mid-major will get to the final four.


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