The NCAA Tournament officially started Tuesday with two teams - Western Kentucky and BYU - earning a berth in the second round of the "Big Dance." Yet, it seems that the tournament is over before it really ever started as the Georgetown Hoyas are national champions. Sort of.
Allow me to explain. According to The Awl, Georgetown is the winner of its "March Madne$$" tournament, where schools advance based on the cost of their annual tuition. The more you pay, the further you go, and the Hoyas stand alone at the end, besting fellow Big East inhabitant Notre Dame by just $10: $40,920 to $40,910.
The Awl's Final Four was a battle of smarts as Davidson and Vanderbilt joined Georgetown and Notre Dame in the final two rounds.
More impressively, history was made during "March Madne$$" as two No. 16 seeds -- LIU Brooklyn and Vermont -- defeated a No. 1 seed for the first time ever as Michigan State and North Carolina were sent home early. Not only that, but Georgetown may not be the area's best story. Baltimore-based No. 15 seed Loyola of Maryland, which costs $39, 470 per year, made a miracle run all the way to the Elite Eight, defeating Ohio State, Gonzaga and St. Bonaventure before falling to Vanderbilt in the East Regional Final.
Makes your $50 office pool seem paltry, no?
While Georgetown may have already been christened as the winner of the "Tuition Tournament," Kentucky is the favorite to win the actual tournament. Despite his recent success, Wildcats coach John Calipari has never won a national championship and technically has never coached in a national championship game (his Memphis Tigers lost to Kansas in the 2008 championship game, but their entire 2007-08 season was vacated due to NCAA academic violations).
Something else that Calipari has never done is coach on the NBA level, but TNT's David Aldridge believes that will change fairly soon when Calipari leaves the Wildcats for the Washington Wizards. As heard on Tony Kornheiser's show on ESPN 980 Tuesday and transcribed by D.C. Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg:
“I’ve got Kentucky, 79-75, and I’ll give you a little bonus: and the Wizards hire John Calipari afterwards to run the show.”
“I think — I KNOW — John wants very badly to get back in the NBA, and he wants to win a national championship too,” Aldridge said. “And so if he wins the national championship here, his work is done....
“And if you’ve given John Wall the keys to the car, and said you’re my guy, you’re in charge of this franchise, then I think to get the most out of John Wall, you bring in the guy that got him. Just a thought. No inside information. But just a thought.”
Of course, Calipari and Wall have history as the former coached the latter during his one season at Kentucky before being selected by the Wizards as the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Several of Calipari's former charges, particularly Chicago Bulls guard and MVP Derrick Rose (who was apparently the catalyst of Memphis' academic issues), have been successful in the NBA.
Yet, if Calipari does indeed come to Washington, he will have to get used to losing. In his three years at Kentucky, Calipari has won 96 games entering the NCAA Tournament. The Wizards have won 77 games since the start of the 2008-09 season, including the nine wins they have this season entering Tuesday. It took Wall only five games in a Wizards uniform to surpass the number of losses he suffered in college.
Talk about a selling point.
Adam Vingan is co-founder and editor of Kings Of Leonsis, a Caps-centric blog, and is the Capitals Editor for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_KOL and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.