March Madness is still exciting, but college basketball ain't what it used to be

Today begins the second day of the NCAA's Basketball Tournament, with games beginning at noon and going past midnight.  It's the most intense weekend of activity in the three week tourney, which will climax on Monday, April 4 from Indianapolis.  Yesterday's opening day of 16 games was filled with thrills and suprises, and was a notable upgrade from last season's opening day.

Although the ratings and the hype (helped by our commander in chief being a big hoops fan who filled out his 64 team bracket on ESPN earlier this week) are greater than ever, college basketball is not nearly as good as it was in its heyday, which I consider to be all of the 1980's going up until the late 90's, when St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field was host to an electrifying upset by UConn over a much heralded Duke team filled with future NBA stars.

Why do I contend this is the case?  Forget about the fact that many experts will tell you that this is a particularly weak field over all; it's that because of the fact that the best basketball players rarely stay in school longer than two years now before going pro.