It#039;s March (yawn) Madness again

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's March madness time again and I have barely even looked up to notice.

For the first time since I began to write, I did not fill out a bracket and I'm actually glad.

Not that I have anything against the NCAA Tournament, because I don't.

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This year I just didn't have the time to and, quite frankly, forgot to do it.

And this year, for the first time in a long, no team from the state of Alabama is in the tournament.

And none of them should be.

Alabama, Auburn, UAB, South Alabama and even Samford showed flashes of brilliance this season, yet none were worthy of a tournament berth when it came down to it.

Alabama, the biggest disappointment of the state schools, posted the usual 20 wins this year but could not get over the hump when it counted most at the end of the season.

Auburn took care of Alabama-twice- but the Tigers also could not seal the deal when it counted most.

UAB has slowly begun to fade since Mike Davis took over for Mike Anderson, although the boys from southside shouldn't be down for long.

The NCAA Tournament is a fun event to participate in, whether it is as a fan in attendance or just as a bracketeer, but without a state school in, it has just lost its flavor this year.

But not all is lost.

Every year, the tournament brings in tons of viewers and tons of money, despite who the teams are.

Although the NCAA &#8220preaches” against the practice of gambling on NCAA events, the tournament is also the biggest gambling event during the year, legal or illegal.

So just imagine what a football December Madness would be like.

The NCAA Tournament has a perfect format and allows the haves and have nots an equal opportunity at championship gold.

Too bad football can't adopt the same policy. All talk of a BCS mess would be gone.

I've never been the greatest forecaster of the tournament, but I will take my shot.

Kansas has had a phenomenal season, just as the other No. 1 seeds have (Florida, North Carolina and Ohio State).

Sports Illustrated picked Kansas, so they are probably jinxed.

Ohio State is fast and talented, but the Buckeyes have choked when all eyes have been on them,

Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels know how to win and have done so sepearately and together,

But my bet (pick) is on the Florida Gators.

The defending champion is on a roll as of late and head coach Billy Donovan is slowly becoming the best coach in the land.

The Gator program, as a whole, is at its best and that shouldn't change anytime soon.

Look for this season's Final Four to be all No. 1 seeds, with the Gators taking it all.

Even though I didn't fill out my bracket this season, I will still be watching when the final net is cut down.

Watching the Final Four with friends and family is a tradition for almost all males and I am no different.

But it just doesn't fill the same without a state school to cheer for.

Austin Phillips is The Greenville Advocate sports editor and can be reached by phone at 334-382-3111 ext. 122, by fax at 334-382-7104 or by e-mail at