The NCAA Twitter Account Keeps Getting Roasted During March Madness

NCAA Twitter keeps taking Losses During March Madness

It is college basketball’s favorite time of year, March Madness! It is also the NCAA’s favorite time of year. The non-profit organization rakes in big bucks from essentially free labor. While the NCAA may be all smiles financially, the organization has endured a public relations nightmare. Since the beginning of March Madness, the NCAA has been subject to some pretty heavy criticism via Twitter.

First, the NCAA faced well-founded criticism due to a commercial depicting a fairytale life for college athletes. The NCAA also faced criticism stemming from two tweets. In one tweet, the NCAA completely disregarded the women’s March Madness tournament. Lastly, the NCAA was criticized for a tweet from 2016. In that tweet, they seemingly boasted providing a benefit to college athletes that should be a given.

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The “Student-Athlete” Day in the Life Commercial

The NCAA released a commercial intending to depict a day in the life of a college athlete.

https://youtu.be/9tkhaW94HwY

In the above video, the athlete starts out in bed, goes straight to class, and then to practice. After practice, the athlete mingles with friends before playing in his game. After the game, the athlete studies before winding down to get a good night sleep. The athlete appears to be coasting through his day with no stress and no worries. He appears to have no problem balancing the challenges and responsibilities of being a student with those of being an athlete.

In sum, the commercial depicts a very false narrative of a perfect college athlete life. A life where college athletes maintain the perfect balance between academics, athletics, and social time. Anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to college athletics knows that the commercial cannot be representative of reality. It logistically does not make sense, especially when just one factor is considered. That factor is travel time for games. The miles between each game simply do not add up.  

The Commercial is not a True Representation

Consider the makeup of the Big 10 Conference. The Big 10 is made up of schools on the East Coast and the Midwest. Maryland and Rutgers are on the East Coast while Nebraska and Wisconsin are in the Midwest. When travel alone time is considered, there is no way that the depiction in the commercial can be accurate. There is no way college athletes are almost always able to leave their game, study, mingle with friends, and get sufficient sleep. This is especially true when early morning training sessions, team meetings, regular practice time, and individual practice time are added to the equation. Individual practice time is necessary to stay on top and earn playing time. Based on these factors alone, there is no way the commercial can be an accurate representation.

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The Commercial’s Inaccuracy Led to a Twitter Firestorm

Twitter instantly criticized the NCAA and the commercial. Everyone from college athlete rights advocates to pro athletes criticized the NCAA for the commercial. Some made videos of what is a more accurate representation of the daily life of a college athlete.

Current college athletes criticized the commercial, saying that it simply is not true. The commercial is completely unrealistic and only serves one purpose. That purpose is to further promote the sham of amateurism.

The NCAA was Rightfully Criticized for Their Tweet Ignoring the Women’s March Madness Tournament

The NCAA again faced well-deserved criticism when they made a tweet completely disregarding the women’s basketball tournament. Even WNBA star Breanna Stewart commented on the NCAA’s total disregard for the women’s tournament.

The tweet stated that they were no more March Madness games happening until Thursday. However, this was not true. The women’s basketball tournament was in full swing during the gap days of the men’s tournament. The NCAA again was instantly faced with another Twitter firestorm.

With that tweet, the NCAA showed how they really view the women’s tournament. The NCAA could have taken the days that the men were not playing as an opportunity to promote the women’s tournament. Instead, they completely disregarded the women’s tournament and further promoted the men’s tournament. This marketing misstep leads one to question just how much does the NCAA really value Title IX and creating equitable opportunities for women’s sports? Or is Title IX just another tool in the NCAA’s belt to justify not sharing more of the college athletics revenue with the athletes?

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The WiFi Tweet From 2016

The NCAA was forced to address a tweet from 2016 where they stated that they provide free Wifi to particpants in the March Madness tournament.

When the tweet resurfaced, it appeared that the NCAA was boasting about providing athletes with a resource that should automatically be given. However, the NCAA clarified that they made the tweet in 2016 to address accounts that college athletes did not have the WiFi access needed to complete their assignments. The NCAA’s tweet was in response to a tweet from a college basketball player in 2016 who tweeted about not having internet access to do his school work.

However, the real issue is in the fact that such a tweet was even necessary at all. It should have never been a question about whether the NCAA made sure that the participating athletes had everything they needed. After all, the NCAA prides its self on providing college athletes an opportunity to get an invaluable education. However, the NCAA and the college athletics system as a whole has been under much criticism for its inability to live up to the reality of that ideal. It is precisely for that reason, that an old tweet from 2016 can resurface in 2019 and instantly cause another Twitter firestorm for the NCAA.

The NCAA Could Avoid These Firestorms if They Shared the Wealth

The NCAA could save itself from a lot of these Twitter firestorms by sharing more revenue with college athletes. If the NCAA allowed college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness, their image would improve drastically. However, the NCAA is unlikely to ever do that. The NCAA certainly will not do that while they are fighting to reclaim the ability to limit the amount of education-related benefits college athletes can receive. It seems that the NCAA prefers to fight PR nightmares than to give college athletes a more equitable piece of the pie.

Duke And The Favorites Advancing In NCAA Tournament Is A Good Thing

March Madness betting favorites advanced in the NCAA tournament Duke and North carolina

With just under two minutes left in the second round game between UCF and Duke, the Knights lead the Blue Devils 74-70. UCF had Duke on the ropes and were ready for the kill shot. UFC stole the ball and had a 2-on-1 fast break. UCF’s Dayon Griffin threw a lob pass to Aubrey Dawkins, who finished with 32 points, and had it been successful, the Knights would have been up 6 with all the momentum against one of the betting favorites to win it all. Instead, this happened.


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We all know how the rest played out.

A couple questionable no-calls, some fortuitous bounces, and a missed put back helped Duke squeak out a 77-76 victory over UCF as the Blue Devils move on to the Sweet 16. Top seeds advancing to the Sweet 16 was the common theme this past weekend as all of the betting favorites won in the second round.

Although all of the favorites won, chalk is not necessarily a bad thing. Let’s say UCF beat Duke. That’s an awesome moment for UCF and its fans. However, to the common basketball fan, are you tuning in to watch UCF vs. Virginia Tech for a trip to the Elite 8? Or, would you rather watch Zion Williamson, Rj Barrett, and Duke play Virginia Tech in the Sweet 16? Unless you’re a UCF fan, my guess is that you’d rather watch Duke.

The NCAA Tournament is known as “March Madness,” but this year, it’s the furthest thing from chaos. There was a significant gap all season long between the top 10 teams and the rest of Division I. That growing sentiment came to fruition as all the top seeds took care of business this past weekend. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Cinderella stories are awesome. Watching a double digit seed fight their way through each round and advance to the Final Four is both entertaining and inspiring. Rooting for Sister Jean and Loyola-Chicago last season was a great story. However, there’s a reason why upsets rarely happen and that’s because of the talent disparity between the blue blood programs like Duke and UNC and the mid-major Cinderella stories like Loyola-Chicago or Wichita State. A Cinderella story is most likely a flash in the pan. Remember when Tim Tebow made the playoffs or “Linsanity” took over the Knicks? Those two athletes took the world by storm for a brief period of time and it was spectacular to witness. However, just like in Cinderella, the clock always strikes midnight. Tim Tebow never got another chance to start at quarterback and Jeremy Lin hasn’t been a star since. You know why? Tim Tebow may have won a few games, but Tom Brady wins Super Bowls. Jeremy Lin may dazzle for a few weeks, but LeBron James wins championships. Loyola Chicago and George Mason may win a region, but Duke, UNC, and Kentucky are staples in the Final Four

And you know what? That’s ok. The biggest gripe with the tournament is that the best team in the country does not always win it all. This year, one of the best teams in the country will win. Duke, UNC, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Gonzaga have all been in the top 3 at some point this year. Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, LSU, Texas Tech, Houston, Auburn, Virginia Tech, and Florida State have all been ranked inside the top 15. The only outlier is Oregon, but the Ducks have won 10 straight and are two years removed from a Final Four appearance.

The tournament has not been as exciting as year’s past, but there is hope on the horizon. There is a lot of good basketball to play from the best teams in the country. For now, chalk is fine by me.

NCAA Tournament March Madness Round 1: From the Front Row

March Madness round 1 Oregon vs Wisconsin UC Irvine college basketball

March Madness is Even More Exciting in Person

The SAP Center in San Jose, Ca hosted round 1 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament in San Jose, Ca. The March Madness round of 64 was without a doubt some of the most exciting showcases we have seen in a while. It was a joy to watch from nearly the front row.

Walking in on the arena floor and staring up into the seats it was easy to feel the buzz in the air. To misquote the great Jim Nance, The NCAA Tournament is a tradition like no other. Parents, friends, families, alumni, and fans all gather from various places and descend to take part in March Madness.

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To pull back the curtain of separation between fan and sportswriter just a bit, I have covered many different events in my short time as a sportswriter but nothing quite like this. I have covered chalk talks, football games, conference championship games, and nothing gave me the jitters and feelings of sentiment quite like this.

The Tournament is a special thing yet continued to be a generational bridge in love of sports. Everyone appreciates the pageantry of March Madness. The passion of college athletics and fandoms alike as 64 teams are all equal in search of achieving the same common goal, cutting down the nets in US Bank Stadium.

UC Irvine vs Kansas State

The UC Irvine Anteaters took on the Kansas State Wildcats in the opening game of the day. In what was a back and forth contest all the way up until the last 1:25 seconds of the game we were treated to run and counter run. Junior guards Max Hazzard #2 and Evan Leonard both scored 19 points in the contest and were the last scorers in the first and second halves.

The Anteaters achieved their first ever NCAA tournament win and a classic #13 seed over #4 seed upset 70-64. It took a complete team effort every man on the bench was of vital importance as they wore down the Wildcats with their open court attack.

Nothing is better in the NCAA tourney than an upset. It brings out the best in fans and underdogs whom nobody gave a chance. The Anteaters had very little belief outside of their players and fanbase but it was clear they belonged from the start.

Winning in the tournament meant the world to their fanbase who made the trek down to support their team. The Anteaters haven’t lot since January, however they find themselves with a difficult round two matchup in the University of Oregon. The Anteaters expected this outcome because they know how much work they have put in to get here. Victory is the ultimate reward for focus dedication and execution.

Oregon Ducks vs Wisconsin Badgers

The Oregon Ducks did battle with the Wisconsin Badgers in the second matchup of the afternoon. Early on it was a chess match, as the two teams felt each other out. Back and forth it would go in a bit of a defensive struggle, at the half the teams would find themselves tied at 25.

And then Oregon head coach Dana Altman would go into the locker room and whatever he said, whatever he drew up on the whiteboard was absolute magic. It would spark the #12 seeded Ducks to produce the second upset of the day in a runaway over #5 ranked Wisconsin 72-54.

RS Sr. Paul White opened up the half on absolute fire. He scored in the paint he scored from behind the three-point line, and he scored from the free throw line. Within 9 minutes of the second half, White went 4-4 from the field, 2-2 from deep, and 2-2 at the line. Providing the Ducks the spark they needed to take flight.

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Kenny Wooten Jr. was sensational and a major reason why the Ducks were able to go on a run and nearly double up the Badgers in the second half. Wooten was the defensive enforcer and no shot or layup was safe when he was in proximity. Wooten possesses the unique ability of being able to damn near jump out of the gym.

His bounce was magnificent and he soared up and over all of the Badgers futile shot attempts. Wooten slapped layups off the backboard, he got clean stuffs, and this one time at March Madness he swatted a shot off the court from just outside the paint.

Winners of four straight and the Pac-12 Championship the Ducks are thrilled to have this moment yet remain focused on the larger picture, winning a championship.

Liberty Eagles vs Mississippi State Bulldogs

#12 seed Liberty University Eagles and #5 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs was a true underdog story. The Bulldogs led for 29:34 seconds of the game. They held the lead up until about the final 2:30 seconds of the game. The Eagles dug deep and when they needed stops and timely shooting they got them.

Redshirt Jr. Caleb Homesley drop a region-leading 30 points on the Bulldogs, going 10-16 from the field, 5-11 from deep, and 5-6 at the charity stripe. Myo Baxter-Bell was a beast down low and out of his 13 points the last four free-throws actually sealed the game for the Eagles by continuing to extend the score in the closing moments of regulation.

The Bulldogs played a great game for 36 minutes but the lone 10 point run they gave up was the difference in the game. Guards Lamar Peters #2 and Quinndary Weatherspoon #11 scored 21 and 27 points respectively and kept their team moving along in the led. Unfortunately down the stretch when they couldn’t score nobody else stepped up for the Bulldogs.

Saint Louis Billikens vs Virginia Tech Hokies

The final game of the evening pit the #15 seed Saint Louis University Billikins against the #4 seed Virginia Tech Hokies. After an upsetting evening to the favorites the Hokies restored the natural selection balance. SLU was outclassed across the board, the court and the sideline and it showed.

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Lacking a low post scoring presence allowed the Hokies to run a defense which looked like a combination of a 3-2 zone and a half court trap and it completely baffled the Billikin’s offense.

It took the SLU offense nearly 15 minutes to acquire double digits in points. Up close it appeared they only were allowed to score because the coach of the Hokies chose not to employ his trap strategy on every possession.

Meanwhile there was nothing the SLU defense could throw at the Hokies that they weren’t ready for. The Hokies went to the rack at will, had no problems locating and converting shots, and to further assert dominance went coast to coast on inbounds numerous times.

SLU trailed by 15-20 points for the majority of the game until they began making a push halfway through the 2nd half to cut the lead to ten. The Hokies responded by going back to the trap defense and it re-stymied the Billikin offense all over again. 66-52 would be the final score and conclude an excellent opening round of basketball.