I’m not a fan of the NCAA. Every time I read about the latest multi-billion dollar deal it signs, I think about all of the unpaid athletes at its disposal. Not a single student-athlete is paid a penny (well, at least over the table) for their labor by the NCAA. It sickens me to think that those billions of dollars are going to so many people who don’t actually play the games. And when a student is busted for rules infractions, we’re supposed to be shocked and surprised that this would happen.
Yet, every March, I look forward to one of the NCAA’s biggest events: the men’s basketball tournament. I put aside my feelings toward the system of exploitative college sports. I just can’t help myself. I love the one-and-done format of the tourney. I love filling out my bracket. I love the upsets. I love the buzzer beaters. I love rooting against Duke. I love rooting for Pac-12 teams. And on very rare occasions, I love rooting for my alma mater.
And after it’s all said and done? I’ll go back to not loving the NCAA again.