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Outside the Hashmarks

February 19, 2016

March is coming, and that means the NBA is about to take a back seat to college basketball. Actually, your job might take a back seat to college basketball, too.

Pretty much everything takes a back seat to March Madness, and with that comes a ton of attention. And revenue. Definitely a lot of revenue.

There’s really not much anyone can do about it, so schools have just embraced it. And maybe that’s a good thing.

Stay with me for a second, okay? If you watched college basketball in 2011, you remember Virginia Commonwealth University. That’s not a question; you just do. That was one of the best Cinderella runs in history. I would say it’s the best to not win a championship. VCU got absolutely bathed in media attention after that.

Not just the basketball team, but the school. Sports networks were tripping all over themselves to ask students everything they could about VCU.

“Yes, it’s a good school. No, it doesn’t have football. Yes, we’re proud of our team. No, we’re not a sports school.” Boom, free advertising.

Now, if it’s at all possible without going into a memorized bout of absolute chaos, remember the time that Florida Gulf Coast University murdered all of our brackets. Remember how often those kids were on the news, even after they lost?

Dunk City was the cream of the crop, at least for a while. You might also know them as Dunk University, if you are a boring individual and want to say the Clippers had the name first.

Regardless of the name, people learned what FGCU was, for the first time. Heck, I applied to FGCU two years later, because I knew it was a solid school, based on what the students said when interviewed. Oh, look. More free advertising.

You get where I am going, don’t you? March Madness is fantastic for entertainment. But it’s just as good for admissions offices, if you’re Division I.

Let’s say Monmouth University, or The Other Monmouth, makes it to the tournament. With that bench doing crazy stuff and having fun, they will be must-see TV.

And no matter how things play out, Monmouth University will be a name that sticks in the minds of prospective students who love basketball.

Or even those unfortunate kids who hate it, and end up watching interviews of the regular students who make up the school, should Monmouth slay just one more giant and don the glass slipper. Even when Monmouth loses, Monmouth will win. That’s the beauty of the game.

Anthony Adams
Sports Columnist

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