The 2018 NCAA Tournament begins in earnest Thursday and, for the first time in SEC history, the conference is sending eight teams to the Big Dance. While that provides the sort of conference pride usually reserved for the gridiron, it also poses a big question for fans of conference members. If their respective school didn’t make the cut, who should they temporarily throw their support behind? This holds true for fans whose teams exit the tournament early.
Luckily, I am here for all of your rooting needs. Much like when choosing a name for your unborn baby or when Ross stupidly tried to decide whether to date Rachel or Julie on Friends, it is best to make a pro and con list on the reasons each team is likable and despicable.
I present to you the 2018 NCAA Tournament Rootability Scale and suggest you heed my guidance. Or not. You are your own person. Anyway, let’s get started and count down to the most likable – or least objectionable, if you will – SEC team to root for in this year’s edition of March Madness.
2018 NCAA Tournament Rootability Scale
PROS: Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are a joy to watch and could turn it on at anytime and lead the Wildcats to a deep run. Wenyen Gabriel and his hairdo throwing in 3-pointers at an alarming rate — he was 7 of 7 against Alabama in SEC Tournament semifinals — makes you question how this team lost 10 games.
CONS : Cheering for Kentucky in basketball is the same as rooting for Alabama in football. Oh, and a note to John Calipari and Kentucky fans: moaning about your seeding and bracket every single year is getting old. Kentucky could finish with 18 losses and the fans would argue the Wildcats deserve a No. 2 seed at the Louisville regional.
Also, Ashley Judd.
Rootability Scale: 1/10
PROS: This undersized, undermanned team earned Auburn’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2003. If you don’t love guard Jared Harper and his feisty play, you are probably the type of person who would look at a sunset over the Pacific Ocean and say, “Meh,” and I do not want to be friends.
CONS: Well, there is that FBI investigation thing and the fact many consider Bruce Pearl a scandal-ridden plague to the game and any program he touches. Besides that, not much.
Rootability Scale: 2/10
PROS: Collin Sexton is everything that people say about him and more. College basketball fans should enjoy as much as they can of him before you have to watch the dreadful NBA to see him in action.
CONS: Alabama winning in basketball is the last thing SEC fans need. You see, Alabama fans, basketball is this sport played with two teams consisting of five players each on a hardwood … you know what? Just Google it.
Rootabilty Scale: 3/10
PROS: Chris Chiozza. Chris Chiozza. Chris Chiozza. As he goes, the Gators go.
CONS: Florida coach Mike White’s father is the athletic director at Duke. When it comes to rooting interests in the NCAA Tournament, you also go against someone with a connection to Duke. It is also conceivable that the deeper the Gators go in the tournament, the more we will hear about Tom Petty, who 95 percent of Gainesville had no idea hailed from there until he tragically passed away last October.
Rootability Scale: 5/10
PROS : Rick Barnes is one of the nicest coaches in the business and the work he did with this year’s team is nothing but amazing. Forward Grant Williams
CONS: Vols Twitter has become the new FSU Twitter, but somehow even more annoying and naive about the Volunteers’ place in the SEC hierarchy. If Tennessee goes on a long run, expect it to go to another level.
Rootability Scale : 6/10
PROS: The Razorbacks’ blistering pace and full-court defense keeps you on the edge of your seat, even if it isn’t as productive as back in the Nolan Richardson days. Cheering for a player like Jaylen Barford should bring a smile to your face.
CONS: Since Arkansas’ new football coach Chad Morris already has the program at a “sleeping giant” and seems to have everything figured out much like his predecessor, Bret Bielema, it would be too much for Razorbacks fans to have success in basketball, as well.
Rootability Scale: 7/10
PROS: The more Michael Porter Jr. plays, the more we get to see what we missed with him out. Cuonzo Martin deserves a lot of praise for getting this team into the tournament in his first season despite Porter’s injury.
CONS: What a horrible time for Jordan Barnett, a key piece to the Tigers, to get a DWI. He is suspended for the first-round game. Missouri fans are more interested in what Kansas is doing than the rest of the conference.
Rootability Scale: 8/10
1. Texas A&M
PROS: If you want to play a drinking game during Aggies games, here is one: Take a drink every time Robert Williams dunks the ball with authority. You will thank me later.
CONS: I’m at a loss here. A&M’s War Hymn is way too focused on Texas? Yeah, I have nothing.
Rootability Scale: 9/10
The post NCAA Tournament Rootability Scale: Pros, cons of cheering for each SEC team appeared first on SEC Country.