The brutal reality of the NCAA Tournament is that when your team loses, it keeps going. And I mean, really keeps going. The Sweet 16 ended yesterday and the Elite Eight starts up today.
There is just no time for the weary.
Now, I don't know about you, but I really love college basketball. I really really love the Gonzaga Bulldogs, but I still enjoy watching college basketball. But I can't root for the Zags anymore, and I can't root for my bracket anymore (thanks Michigan State), so I have to hit the ground running.
So, if you are like me, and you need help in finding a new team to win it all, I humbly present to you the Slippery Still Fits Rootability Index.
The Rootability Index isn't mathematically based. It is just a bunch of numbers that have been sent through a blender of emotions to try and give us reasons to root for each team. Let's start at the bottoms.
No. 8: Syracuse Orange
Reasons to root for Syracuse: error, can't divide by zero
Reasons to root against Syracuse: Honestly, I'm not sure of anyone who likes to root for the team that just beat their team in the NCAA Tournament, so Syracuse is at the very bottom of this list.
No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Reasons to root for Notre Dame: Because you have a family member that attended the school.
Reasons to root against Notre Dame: Not to say the Fighting Irish don't belong here, but they've gotten a double-dose of lady luck in the past two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Also, of the eight teams left in the Elite Eight, six are in the top eight of the Ken Pomeroy rankings. The two missing? Syracuse at No. 28, and Notre Dame at No. 33. Also, it is freaking Notre Dame. Few fanbases make it harder to enjoy a team's success than the Notre Dame Gloating Irish fanbase.
No. 6: North Carolina Tar Heels
Reasons to root for UNC: Because they are the easiest team to root for and look good rooting for them.
Reasons to root against UNC: Seriously, rooting for UNC is like rooting for the Death Star. This is the school that is just so good year in and year out it usually makes me sick to my stomach.
No. 5: Kansas Jayhawks
Reasons to root for Kansas: The Jayhawks are fundamentally sound, play great technical basketball and Perry Ellis.
Reasons to root against Kansas: Honestly, the Jayhawks have been crushing it in the NCAA Tournament, and it has been a bit boring to watch. They had a four point win over Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament, but this team has been rolling to victory so consistently as of late. It is really hard to tune into a game and get excited when you are 100% sure Kansas is going to win, it is just a matter of by how much.
No. 4: Villanova Wildcats
Reasons to root for Villanova: The Wildcats have won their games in the NCAA Tournament this year with well-timed threes and an overall ability to just hustle more than their opponents. Ryan Arcidiacono is a guy that plays that Gonzaga way--using hustle to make up for lack of finesse. He is a guy to get behind.
Reasons to root against Villanova: I have a good friend that went to Nova, and he doesn't speak too fondly of his collegiate experience there. So there is one very subjective knock. Villanova has also done really well in the NCAA Tournament, like boringingly well. Something will have to give against Kansas, I don't see either team beating the other by 20 points.
No. 3: Oregon Ducks
Reasons to root for Oregon: Most likely, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you've had a family member or good friend attend Oregon. Oregon also beat Duke, and that goes a long way.
Reasons to root against Oregon: The money connection to the Knight family makes rooting for any Oregon team a bit annoying when you didn't attend the school. I also have a very personal beef against the Oregon basketball team. After we lost to Wichita State in 2013, my Oregon alumna friend tried to console me by saying, "Look on the bright side Peter. At least Oregon is still in it." I couldn't find enough things to throw at her.
Oh yeah, and also, we couldn't win in the Pac-12.
No. 2: Virginia Cavaliers
Reasons to root for Virginia: Now that Tony Bennett is no longer with Washington State, I like rooting for him. He is a great coach that is seeing the success he deserves, and it is a great thing. Out of all the coaches still left in this tournament, he is the one I probably respect the most.
Reasons to root against Virginia: As much as I love Tony Bennett, argh Tony Bennett. Virginia has an adjusted tempo ranked No. 351 in the nation. Watching Bennett coached teams is like watching paint dry in a bucket of water you are trying to watch boil. He is doing exactly the style he did at Washington State, only with better players. Watching Washington State and Gonzaga play in those years was horrible. Virginia is just like that, only they can actually hit their shots.
No. 1: Oklahoma Sooners
Reasons to root for Oklahoma: Ryan Spangler, and this is it. It seems like so long ago that Spangler was on Gonzaga, and I will say that when he transferred, I wasn't surprised. He was seeing few minutes and was basically in a spot that made it hard for him to showcase his skill. That, and the fact that he wanted to be closer to home, I have no qualms with it. Spangler is a bruiser, and it is great seeing him get some success. Also, Oklahoma is just a fun team to watch. They either make it rain or they fall apart at the seams. March Madness needs this sort of random, coin-flip, approach.
Reasons to root against Oklahoma: There is a good chance that Oklahoma will not win any of their upcoming games, and then you are left choosing a new team. Also, I guess if you are of the more spiteful variety, and instead of wishing for success for Spangler wish for him to fail. Oklahoma probably isn't your team.