Twitter is a source of entertainment for a lot of people, but for me -- and likely for just about every other writer out there -- twitter is a tool. Its a way to promote myself and to promote my website. It allows me to communicate, quickly and easily, with a lot of people I likely would never be able to get in touch with. Its a terrific way to keep up to date with all the happenings around the country. Its a virtual certainty that if something important happens or a must-read article is published it will appear in my timeline.
But that's far from my favorite part about twitter.
What I enjoy most is reading through tweets from the best basketball minds on the internet while the game is going on. Usually, its because the color analysis I get from my twitter feed is better than whoever is in the booth that night. But there are also the jokes and the hilarious hashtags, and even the camaraderie I feel from knowing I'm not the only junkie that is truly enjoying my hoops high.
Tonight, the best tweet that made its way through my timeline was courtesy of Andy Glockner:
I love that on the second night of the season, we already have a game that reminds me why I love college basketball.Why?
Because he is 1,000% correct.
Because tonight's game between Maryland and College of Charleston was awesome.
It featured a mid-major school we all knew was good and we all knew a little something about playing the reigning ACC co-champions to the buzzer. It featured a sophomore big man blossoming into his potential and a senior leader nearly stealing the show for the second straight season. It featured a packed house that was rocking. It featured a game-winning jumper that came very close to being upstaged at the buzzer.
The craziest part?
It could still be so much better.
Monday was the official start of the college basketball season as we had four games tip off. Much has been written the last few days about what we need to improve this lack of fanfare at the outset of the season; how we need to have a better season opening event.
My opinion? Only one change needs to be made: preseason tournaments need to be played like actual tournaments.
Every game that has been played this season has been a part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. But regardless of the outcome of any of the eight games that were played, the four host teams -- in this case, Pitt, Maryland, Texas, and Illinois -- were going to be advancing to the Finals in Madison Square Garden.
Doesn't this go against everything that makes college basketball and March Madness as great as it is? That the little guys have a chance to knock off the big guys? That you only need to be the better team for 40 minutes on one night and you advance?
What happened to 'win or go home'?
Think about it like this -- let's say the Coaches vs. Cancer included 16 teams. Four big name schools that host the opening two rounds. The hosts each play a low-major team in the first round, while two mid-majors played the other half of the double header. Winners advance to play each other for the right to have a spot in MSG. Its not that difficult.
Can you imagine what the excitement would have been like tonight had a trip to New York been on the line?
What about during Monday night's matchup of Rhode Island and Pitt?
How soon we forget that Butler -- yes, that Butler -- made a run to the title in the 2006 Preseason NIT (the last one of the 16 team preseason tournaments that is still, you know, a tournament) while beating Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee, and Gonzaga.
The fact that we are ready to say goodbye to that kind of early season excitement is one of the biggest reasons we ease our way into college basketball