Since 2006, when the NCAA relaxed the rules on programs participating in so-called “exempt” early-season tournaments, there's been a proliferation of made-for-TV preseason events. This year, it seems there’s been a supernova of them: large and small, exotic locales and more familiar ones. Organizers try to pack as many as a dozen games into a few days to maximize competition and, more importantly in their eyes, occupancy at the resorts and venues that host.
Travel tournaments date back to the 1960s, but they really gained prominence in the '80s when big-name programs began using the events to boost name recognition and to spend some quality time bonding. Of course, [...]
Believe it or not, it's been almost a month since we embarked on this magical journey that is the Official Awl Tournament Bracket Challenge. There have been ups, there have been downs, but like everything, it's run its course and now's the time to say goodbye. But you know what they say, if you really love something, let it go and if it comes back to you, it's yours forever.
Wow, what a way to kick off March Madness, am I right? Of the first 16 games, 8 (that's half) were decided in either OT (overtime) or by 3 points or less. That means things were exceptionally close! For comparison, only nine games TOTAL last year were decided by the same criteria. You know what else is close? The rankings in the ongoing Official Awl March Madness Bracket Tournament Challenge!
That's right hoops (that's slang for basketball) fans, it's March and it's about time we go mad for it! At the suggestion of one of our loyal readers, I have created a group on ESPN and have forced both Choire and Alex to fill out a bracket, much to their chagrin (and, in Choire's case, total bafflement, followed by blind guessing), and now it's your turn-to fill out a bracket. But wait, we're not just playing for pride and bragging rights here.