Sports breeds an innate desire for overreactions. Perhaps this is inevitable, a product of a game where the smallest of margins separates victory from defeat. Regardless, we live in world where every loss is grounds for sacking the coach, and every poor performance is cause for playing the backup. Or the addition of a star will render a team invincible. While this is generally reserved for the talking heads on ESPN or call-ins to the local AM station, even the smartest and most rational fall victim to this curse. I present this article: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7744477/john-calipari-anthony-davis-kentucky-march-final-four-means-college-basketball
In it, Herr Klosterman proclaims a Kentucky victory will result in the death of College Basketball within a decade. Success is never guaranteed, and entropy will bring about the end of everything, but 10 years is far to short a time to kill a billion dollar industry. Even if in the end, this predictions will be realized.
Consider a three dimensional plane of hills and valleys. Now place a ball in the plane. The ball will roll around and eventually reach an equilibrium point and rest. It could stop in a local minimum and reach a stable equilibrium. Or it could stop on a plateau, creating an unstable equilibrium that could be upset with a light touch. A force is necessary to shift the ball away from any of positions. Now imagine the ball is the sport of basketball, and the plane is defined through the system of College Basketball, the rules, money, and corruption inherit within. What Calipari (An unfortunate name, as I am always reminded of Shakespeare's Caliban) coaches is at the local minimum, College Basketball run as a proto-pro league. Given the current system, this is inevitable. The only thing that has been preventing such a case is the forces of 'Tradition' and 'Respect for the Game', holding the ball above the local minimum. Unbound by that force, the ball will return to a natural rest. If not Calipari, some other coach would institute this at another school. The only way to prevent this is to change the system of College Basketball, an unlikely proposition, given the money involved.
But remember the overreaction I mentioned. Last year, with a mid-major in the final for the second year in a row, we had reached a new ear of parity, where the elite programs would no longer enjoy a significant talent advantage over small schools. Just one year later, parity is broken forever and five schools will dominate basketball for all eternity. How did that happen?
In short, College Basketball is dying, but it has been dying since before Magic and Bird met on a court in Utah, and will keep dying long into the future. And the system will eventually change, as it always does, a new era will be reached, and one day we will look back with fondness at Coach Calipari and say there was a man of tradition, so unlike the coaches of today, and it is too bad the game is not like it was back in those days.
All is flux, nothing is stationary.There is nothing permanent except change.–Heraclitus
Let us enjoy the present while it here, and let the future worry about itself. Besides,
The future will be better tomorrow.–Dan Quayle