(SNH) — Some believe the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament is the greatest sports weekend of the year. And 2024 did nothing to prove those folks wrong. 

It’s called March Madness for a reason. From Noon to 1 a.m. its games, games, games and upsets were through the roof. 

How can you not get excited about a team like the commuter school, Oakland University, which knocked off the Blue Blood Kentucky? The 14th seed won its first NCAA Tournament game in school history behind the Division II transfer Jack Golhke who hit 10 three-pointers in the 80-76 victory. 

And don’t forget: OU was a D-2 school until the 1999-2000 season and have been led by the same head coach for the past 40 years. 

March Magic. 

The Golden Grizzlies weren’t the only Cinderella. The 13th seed Yale defeated Auburn; No. 12 seed Grand Canyon knocked off Saint Mary’s and 11th seed Duquesne won its first game in the Big Dance since 1969. 

Shockers like these are what makes this tournament so special, but that’s where it should end. 

Small schools making it to the second weekend is cute. Great stories. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to see them playing past the Sweet 16.

Your 15 minutes of fame shall be over. 

There’s a reason the Regional Semifinals are called the “Elite Eight.” These teams are supposed to be elite. That means the best of the best. And that’s who I want to see compete for the National Championship. 

Do you know what’s as exciting as the first day of the tourney? When legendary programs, with future NBA stars are going head-to-head in the Elite Eight and Final Four. 

That means matchups like Duke versus Kansas or North Carolina-UCLA or Michigan State-Kentucky. 

It’s awesome that Yale won a tournament game, but there’s no way it’s a national title contender. So, I don’t want to see them. 

Last year’s Final Four consisted of San Diego State and FAU, and that equaled record low viewership. The two Final Four games delivered an average audience of 12.34 million viewers on CBS, a drop off of 17 percent from the previous year’s semifinal games on Turner Sports. 

Read that again: A 17 percent drop on network television from the previous year’s games WHICH WERE ON CABLE. So, spare me the cord-cutting talk. 

Look, I’m all for a good story. But every story must come to an end. And don’t you want mediocre stories to wrap up quickly in everyday life?

This is no different. Give me the best.

Ryan Slocum is a writer for Sports News Highlights.

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