March Madness is upon us and I am already sucked into the action. We are not done with the first day, and I forgot to eat lunch and I contemplated buying a UNC-Wilmington road jersey. But for as beautiful as the tournament is, I already feel like a few things are missing.
1. The Old Court
From 2010-2015, the NCAA Tournament (for the first two weekends) used identical courts with light-colored floors, blue paint at the top of the key and the NCAA logo at center court. Out of bounds was marked in black paint with the host city on the baseline in blue paint.
The new court has white paint at the top of the key and a bracket design at mid-court. Each venue has a unique color design out of bounds, and the current round is placed along one baseline. The host city is on the far sideline.
— Scott Dupree (@dsdupree) March 14, 2016
For some reason, the old court grew on me. I like knowing where the action is being played. My eyes were trained to look under the hoop. I'm sure this court will grow on me too, but at the moment, I miss the old court and think this new design is trying to hard. The center court bracket design has too much going on and Des Moines' lime green baseline is more suited for a rave than basketball.
2. RedZone-type channel
Does this exist? Do I not know about it? I am about to sound like a spoiled millennial.
I would love a no-commercial channel that just follows constant action and navigates viewers to the most-timely situation (you know, like when a team is in the red zone).
Obviously, I could just change the channel during commercial breaks and always follow action, but I am lazy and want someone else to do all the work for me. The NCAA has already gotten the tournament on four channels. Why not go all the way and create a mega-channel?
One day, this will happen.
3. Gus Johnson
This is not new. This is the fifth straight NCAA Tournament without Gus Johnson on a broadcast crew. And it is still a downright tragedy.
No one gets as excited about calling college basketball as Gus Johnson. Sorry, Dick Vitale. Sorry, Ian Eagle. Sorry, Bill Raftery (who has made for an outstanding Johnson partner in the past). No one used to rise and fire in March like Gus.
Johnson works with Fox Sports, the site of his failed soccer broadcasting experiment. One day, hopefully within the next decade, Johnson will return to the NCAA Tournament. Then he will come off this list.
It all happened so fast. Monmouth went from darling of the non-conference season to cult heroes to MAAC regular-season champions to an NCAA Tournament afterthought. The Hawks fell to Iona in the MAAC Tournament Final, and a few bad losses left Monmouth on the other side of March Madness (also known as the NIT).
As Clark Kellogg can explain, Monmouth was not deserving of a bid, at the end of the day. That doesn't make it any easier. Had Monmouth beat Iona, the Hawks would have been seeded somewhere between 10 and 13 and probably among the most beloved teams in the tournament.
5. Bo Ryan
I have a definite Big Ten bias, but this tournament is weird without Bo Ryan. At the time of Ryan's retirement earlier this year, only Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo and Mark Few had longer active consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Ryan finally had his moments in his final two seasons, making his only two Final Fours. Last year, he had his best shot at winning a national title with Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker.
Now, we do not have that traditionally pesky Wisconsin team in the No. 2 to No. 5 seed range. Bo will be missed.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.