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March Madness? You got that right

On Sports

Just a few of the reasons they call it March Madness:

• There are too many teams in the NCAA Tournament. If a No. 16 seed never has beaten a No. 1 seed, then obviously some teams in this deal aren't worthy of an invitation.

Cut it to where it belongs - at about half the current number - and then the first round will have an upset or two. Besides, too many coaches save their jobs just by being invited to this tournament - and that's a concept that needs some rethinking.

• Yes, I know. The above will never happen. Money is involved, and the colleges could give lessons to pro leagues on the relentless pursuit of the dollar. At least the pros share the plunder with the players.

• College basketball changed a rule a couple of years ago so that the clock would stop after baskets in the final minute, which is in line with the NBA rule. But coaches resist modern times and continue to call timeouts after their team scores. It used to make sense, because it saved a few seconds. 'It allows us to set our defense,' coaches say now.

Uh, but it allows the other team to set its offense. That's crazy. The offensive team needs the timeout much more than the defensive team does in that situation.

Man, there are some real fakers out there coaching college basketball.

• Next year, the college 3-point line moves back a foot. But it still needs to go back two or three more feet. When the 3-pointer was put in, the idea was to make it a tough shot. In fact, in the beginning, it was called basketball's version of the home run.

Now it's a bunt single. As a result, teams shoot nothing but dunks and 3s, and the game has a monotony to it that is mind-numbing over time. Even though there's a great return on the investment of shooting 3s, coaches should have their teams pound the ball inside more often. Long-range shooting is just too inconsistent.

The Oregon Ducks should have learned that lesson a long time ago.

• Yes, the colleges always are messing with the rules. This year, they moved the players one slot away from the basket on free throws. I guess that makes it easier to get offensive rebounds.

Why is that important? I have no earthly idea. But it looks stupid and smacks of change for change's sake.

• A lot of people figured that forcing high school kids into one season of college basketball would brighten up the TV ratings and hike interest in the college game. I'm not sure it's done that.

It's forced some kids with no interest in college to attend for about half a year and made their teams look like rent-a-player outlets. One and done is not a valuable college experience. Just let the ones who wish to go play in the NBA do it, the way we let baseball, golf and tennis players go pro.

If they don't make it as basketball players, they can return to the campus and work their way through school like everybody else.

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