The Vending Machine of the Future

There’s a pretty huge problem facing the Internet. I may have a way to start solving it.

On Sunday, The New York Times ran a piece discussing at length the issues currently being faced by the media industry.

“Oh no,” you might be thinking, “another article discussing the failure of print? I already know about that!”

Not exactly. This Times, (haha, see what I did there?) the focus was on the online sector, with sites like Buzzfeed and Mashable the examples used to back the thesis that questions the longevity of online news. Mashable, at the beginning of the month, announced lay offs of some high ranking editors, and Buzzfeed missed it’s 2015 revenue projection by 32%. For two behemoths, both looked to by those looking to break into the industry of online media as potential soft landing spots in an industry mired in uncertainty, this has come as distressing news. The reasons for these unfortunate signals are many, but The New York Times, in the first article linked, points to the availability of ad blockers for mobile browsers, and the potent power of Facebook with its encapulsating grasp and its strong desire to keep users on its site as opposed to following links to external content.

I’ve thought about this downtrend, as plenty of more informed others have, extensively. As the Times article points out, users of mobile devices have moved toward interactions where they are merely checking app feeds with the goal of consuming as much content as they can in as short of a time as possible. Things that can get in the way of that are advertisements and anything else like surveys or newsletter signups that a user can identify as a ploy to make them a pawn in an internet revenue game. As younger people grow, taking that awareness for ingenuity and money making business gimmicks with them into the world, it’s very difficult to imagine a world where these methods for making money can survive.

Everyone pretty much wants the Internet to work like this (and this is pretty much how it works right now): as a vending machine, where all the pretty content is displayed for you, and all you have to do is push the right buttons, and it is delivered to you, for no charge (save the monthly subscription fee to your provider).

Media sites have tried to monetize the delivery of this content, as mentioned above, with ads, surveys, email newsletters containing ads, and plenty of other means. One would think that the subscription model would work quite well, as we do like to shell money out on a monthly basis for access to unlimited content, as we do for video streaming. This hasn’t really translated, or it doesn’t seem it has, to online media, as the inputs to the conversation are so numerous, the thought is always “I can get this information somewhere else, without this $10/month charge.”

Many sites are funded by venture capitalists, looking to cash in on the “millenial media boom” as termed in the above-linked Vanity Fair article, and I thought this could translate to the public when I suggested that Gawker conduct a crowd funding campaign, like a Kickstarter, to pay off the Hulk Hogan verdict. To some degree, I think, people will spend their own money when it seems “cool” and “beneficial” to the world as a whole. If marketed properly, perhaps there is some viability to this solution of raising funds for a media site, but that isn’t the solution I am proposing here today.

To remedy this situation, one must keep the vending machine analogy in mind, and think about how selfish it is to be constantly standing in front of it, pushing button combination after button combination getting fat on the acquisition of information we partake in every single day of our lives. There are actual, live human beings on the other side, filling that machine with content every single day. They are just like us, with bills to pay and goals to meet, perhaps even with a family to feed. Perhaps the mean we use to get to the vending machine, our technology, has led us to be deluded into thinking the Internet is some magical creature stocking that machine full of content for us to digest, but that isn’t the case. (at least not yet? *Gulp*)

The Internet is a special place for all it gives us, like the access to thoughts from all over the world, the connectivity to our family and friends, and the place for our own voice, just like this site, when we ourselves want to be seen and heard. It would be amazing for that continue forever, unobstructed and untainted by corporate interests and greed, but sometimes you have to be realistic, and really think if that will be allowed to continue to be the case. by those in higher power like the service providers and the companies holding controlling stakes in some of the suffering media sources.

The solution I think would really work is some kind of credit or token system, a consummable form of currency that would be used up when one wants to read an article or gain access to a certain piece of content. I’ve heard about a “pay per view” kind of system, where a user’s credit card would charged a small fee for access to an article, and some sites have even started charging a small fee to recoup ad revenue lost to ad blockers, but rhe token system would be different for one main reason: it would be tied to your monthly service provider bill. For instance, let’s say $50/month gets you your regular high speed Internet, but now it also grants you 100 credits to be used on the “Internet vending machine” whenever and wherever you please. A 2,000 word article or less with video costs you 2 tokens. A hour long documentary costs you 5. A Buzzfeed listicle costs 1 token. A Mashable video review of a new tech gadget deducts 3 tokens. Need more tokens? Take it up with your provider as you would with a higher data plan with your wireless carrier.

Now this idea would be largely, actually hugely, dependent on the ability of the stakeholders involved to figure out a way for content providers to get paid from service providers based on tokens used on the site in question. It’s eerily possible to imagine a world where certain ISPs have deals where things like “no token access to Netflix for your first year!” and “half token cost to The Verge for your first six months!” exist. There is also the question of moving sites like Netflix, already super profitable based on its subscription fees, to this model. Perhaps video streaming is on too solid of ground to be messed with. I think we can all be ok with that.

Of course, corporations would make out nicely here, and frankly this kind of world is slightly scary, but hopefully this would lead to a stronger and more stable job market for content creators, and less layoffs in an extremely important industry.

A big retort to my argument is going to be that it fattens up already massive corporations like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Time Warner, giving them more power over what you can gain access to. Yes, I admit that there could be some serious moral issues here, like letting your provider know of the content you are consuming. However, why not remedy that by treating the privacy of content viewed as sacred as your Social Security number and home address, infinitely more sensitive information that your provider already has? In doing so, an end user can experience the Internet in peace, and the provider merely makes its money and shuts up.

This just a thought, but could be a potential solution to the declining health of media. Maybe this has been discussed at length in board rooms somewhere, in which case this writing will be a preview, rather than a solution. Whatever the case may be, let’s hope for a route that continues to provide valuable content and journalism, that doesn’t come with such selfishness on the part of the consumer.

I would welcome your discussion with me on this, whether here in the comments or on Twitter: Peter Sarian. Thank you for reading.

This Sure Feels Like Phil Jackson’s New York Moment

Two years ago, Knicks fans were ecstatic.

Legendary NBA figure Phil Jackson had just signed on to be the team’s President, a position that would enable him to oversee personnel decisions along with General Manager Steve Mills, and to, more importantly, develop a “culture of winning,” as the Zen Master put it.

This was great for the Knicks, a team perceived by many, including it’s own fan base, to be run by a self-absorbed billionaire in James Dolan, who made ill-advised move after ill-advised move in hopes of pushing the Knicks toward competitiveness and relevancy. Jackson was finally, mercifully, going to be putting an end to the overreaching steps taken by Dolan far too often. Dolan would listen to Phil, and Dolan would shut up. Phil couldn’t have won 11 rings by accident. He had credibility, and Dolan was going to respect that. Things were going to change. And the Knicks were going to be good.

Well, things certainly did change, and quickly, as Phil Jackson made moves that shipped off guys like Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, and Tyson Chandler, the latter three being key parts in New York’s 56 win season in 2012–2013 under the recently fired Mike Woodson and Co. Talks with fellow Knicks fans centered around the same thought: Phil was making good on his promise to change the culture, and it started by rooting out these four bad apples in an otherwise good bunch. The winning, though? That was, and is, a completely different story.

The 2014–2015 season was a disastrous 17 win campaign, one that saw Derek Fisher flounder in his first year as coach, Carmelo Anthony undergo career-altering knee surgery, and guys like Lou Amundson starting at the 5. (No offense to Sweet Lou, I love the guy, but I think even he would admit he is not a starting 5 in the NBA) It was tough to watch at times, and the games were mostly ignored with the thought that this season was a sacrifice for good things to come, and future deep playoff runs.

The NBA draft didn’t yield much happiness either, as the Knicks used the #4 pick on a young Latvian who’s name we all know by now. Kristaps Porzingis was destined, or so it was declared on Twitter the moment the pick was announced, to be the classic Euro-bust that comes along every so often and completely blows up a team’s plan for the future. The pundits were out, not the least of which was Stephen A. Smith, a “native New Yorker” who claimed to be “completely disgusted” with the pick.

Thankfully, young KP proved the majority of us Knicks fans wrong when he went out and had a hell of a season, dazzling us with dunks, sinking deep 3 pointers, sometimes from Steph Curry Land, and going to the All Star game and putting up some great numbers in the admittedly completely offensive-focused affair. Unfortunately, like the rest of his team, Porzingis seemed to hit a wall of sorts, becoming less productive and energized as the calendar turned to February. Once at 22–22, the Knicks limped to a 32–50 record, which obviously meant no playoffs, and more questions.

KP’s stamina and Carmelo’s patience weren’t the only things that didn’t survive the season, as the Knicks (read Phil Jackson) decided to cut weight in the firing of Derek Fisher. Citing reasons like it being “time for a change” and an opportunity to “move forward” Jackson met with the media and installed interim head coach and triangle worshipper Kurt Rambis, who oversaw the final 2o or so games without any noticeable improvement. With the Knicks not engaging in playoff action, and being without a draft pick, the conversation surrounding the team has focused squarely on the huge head coaching decision on the table.

After two seasons of relative failure, many fans, myself included, are calling for another significant change, this time at the head coach position. After the disaster that was Derek Fisher, (who perhaps got a bit of a raw deal, but I digress) and the incompetence of Kurt Rambis , it feels like the right time for Phil to spring for a coach like Tom Thibodeau or Jeff Van Gundy, two disciplinarians focused on hard practices and motivating players, instead of more system focused basketball. Given Thib’s recent success with the Bulls, who became a mess this year without his guidance, many fans and writers are bullish on the idea of him coaching at MSG, with some reports that the Knicks job is the one he always wanted and that he would “crawl to Madison Square Garden” for it.  Some have even gone as far as claiming it’s time for Dolan to re-enter the fold and declare his wishes for a change, or for Melo to demand a trade if a competent and established coach isn’t hired.

In light of recent developments, including words directly from Phil Jackson’s mouth, it seems he has no desire to abandon the triangle offense, the system that rewarded him so handsomely for his loyalty, in favor of a popular move at the head coaching position. In closing press conferences last week, Phil expressed his desire for a “simpatico” relationship with his head coach, and his reinforcement of the “system” and its principles. Phil’s alleged phone call to (an uninterested) Luke Walton, a disciple of the Zen Master and ticket holder on the Golden State Express, confirms Phil’s words with actions, and further evidence came while this was being written, which said that Phil, Kurt Rambis, and about 4–6 players would meet to review “triangle offense principles.”  Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on one’s attitude, it seems like Phil will stick to his guns, and continue to hold the principles of the triangle close.

This situation has all the makings of a legacy defining moment for Phil Jackson’s New York experience. Will his staunch defending of the triangle offense prove correct and fruitful, or will his stubbornness to see what this team really needs lead to him being held in contempt with Knicks fans, his name muttered in the same breath with Isaiah Thomas and Stephon Marbury? While Phil seems to have made his decision, history has not.

New York Yankees 2016 Preview

Baseball season is here. Today, the New York Yankees begin their season and their quest for their 28th World Series Championship in franchise history. There’s a lot to talk about with this 2016 squad, but before before doing so, let’s recap the 2015 campaign. The 2015 Yankees were a success, in my opinion. They got off to a hot start and jumped out to a huge lead in the AL East. Unfortunately, the dog days of summer caught up to them as the team’s elder age became a factor while the Blue Jays kicked it up several notches. The Yanks lost their lead in the AL East, and subsequently the Wild Card game against the Houston Astros. All was not lost, though, as new Yankees acquisitions Didi Gregorius, Nathan Eovaldi, and Andrew Miller contributed strongly to the Yankees last year and I see them building on that this year.

The 2016 Yankees are in a weird spot. A lot of their big contracts come off the books after this season and next season: Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, and C.C. Sabathia. In anticipation of this, the Yankees added some youth with some pieces that were acquired in the offseason. Aaron Hicks, Starlin Castro, and Aroldis Chapman are hopefully going to be huge assets, and the Yankees are relying on their assistance in order to have success in 2016 and beyond. In a departure from their previous ways, the Yankees managed to get younger despite not signing a free agent this offseason. While these moves were and are encouraging, the team is still reliant on its veterans to compete at a high level if this team is to make a deep playoff run.

The pitching staff returns Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Luis Severino. All of these pitchers, except for Severino, were injured at one point or another last year, and Severino himself only played in the second half of the season. The pitching staff is probably the Yankees biggest question mark going into the year, and understandably so.

Looking at this group, I really believe in the potential of both Severino and Eovaldi. Sevy was very sharp in his limited time last year, bringing a swagger that allowed him to be confident and challenge hitters. I think if the Yankees manage him right, he will be the ace of this staff in the very near future. Eovaldi started off pretty slowly last year, but when he rediscovered how to throw a split finger; it completely reenergized him. If he can bounce back from his injury, and remain effective longer than 5 innings, the Yanks will have a very solid #3 on their hands in Nasty Nate.

That leaves Tanaka, Pineda, CC, and Nova as the big question marks of this group. Will Tanaka need surgery on his elbow? Can Pineda pitch to his full potential? How will CC throw since he entered rehab? Will Nova turn the corner since he had Tommy John surgery? These are some of the many questions we will hear throughout the season regarding these pitchers. Personally, I think Tanaka will be fine, but won’t quite regain the dominance of his rookie year, which was mostly the byproduct of no one seeing his stuff  previously. I think Tanaka can and should be looked at as this staff’s #2, rather than the ace, as in he will put up good numbers, and be steady, but not quite dominate batters like he used to.

Pineda needs to figure his stuff out and stay healthy. This guy is the definition of a head case.  When things go well for him, he has shown he can be unstoppable. When he starts giving up hits though, his body language gives away how upset or rattled he is, and suddenly he’s just throwing batting practice. If he can stay healthy, and learn to control his emotions, he should be in line for a good year. Let’s see if Big Mike can take care of business this year. Larry Rothschild, I’m looking at you bud.

CC and Nova are probably the scariest options here and just concluded their battle for the #5 spot, with CC emerging the victor. Hopefully, CC is now focused since his stint in rehab to remedy his alcoholism. He’s not the same ace as he was with the Yankees in 2009, but he’s smart enough to compete. Nova will be the spot starter/long reliever from the bullpen. I don’t think he’s fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery just yet, and he probably needs some time to feel things out. He is also in the last year of his contract, and I think if he can be effective, he will earn himself a nice pay day from a team in need of pitchers. If, however, CC and Nova falter, I can definitely see Cashman making a move to shore up this shaky staff.

While the pitching staff has its issues, the bullpen will be the Yankees biggest strength this season. The Yankees picked up arguably the best closer in the MLB in Aroldis Chapman, and despite his suspension for the early part of the season, he will regain the position upon his return. The Yankees will move last year’s closer Andrew Miller to the set up man role, and former 8th inning guy Dellin Betances will handle the 7th inning or earlier, if needed. All three pitchers have nasty stuff and can be almost impossible to hit.  The beauty of having these three will be the lessening of stress on the starter, allowing him to go 5 or 6 innings, while remaining confident in unleashing the three headed monster to lock down the game. I also like a few of the other pitchers that will be featured in the bullpen. Shreve, Yates, Barbato, and Cessa won jobs out of camp and they will have to show that they have the talent to stay at the major league level. All of these relievers are young guys who can bridge that gap from the starters to relievers, if maybe one of the Big 3 isn’t available, or while Chapman is suspended. I’ve always thought that Girardi does a nice job of mixing and matching his relievers, and he is especially adept at bringing up relievers from AAA in emergency situations, sending them down to rest/throw more, and then bringing them back up at a later time if need be. Don’t be surprised if we see a lot more young assets coming up to the team to pitch the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings such as Pinder, Mitchell, Goody, and Lindgren among others, before handing it to that Big 3 of Betances, Miller, and Chapman.

With pitching out of the way, let’s look at offense. The Yankee infield got a huge boost by adding Starlin Castro from the Cubs. Granted, it came at the cost of Mr. Reliable Adam Warren, and Castro has only played second base a limited amount, but if you watched any baseball in 2015 you know he is 1000% better than whomever was getting rolled out to play there last year. Didi and Castro form a nice double play combo on defense, and their bats came on late last year. I’m really looking forward to watching the middle infielders contribute to the team this year. Brian McCann is a great catcher, and I love how he handles the pitchers and calls a game. He still needs to work on not pulling the ball so much when the shift is on, and I really thought he would be providing more power, especially at Yankee Stadium with its short left field porch, but his 2015 was much better than 2014. If he McCann can continue to improve, this lineup becomes that much more dangerous. Mark Teixeira was having a great season, maybe even an MVP-type season last year before a bad injury in August ended it prematurely. He looked like a whole new hitter, he was very clutch, and was hitting with great power. At this point with Teixeira, you almost have to expect he will get hurt at one point, and build a roster that takes that into account. I’m hoping the Yankees bring him along slowly to mitigate that serious injury possibility, and that Girardi can provide steady rest for him either at DH or with a full day off. Chase Headley had a bad year last year, both defensively and offensively. He made the most errors in his career and wasn’t as effective at the plate. I think if he can play better defensively, it will also allow him to be confident and hit consistently as well.  With Rob Refsnyder going down to the minors last week, that leaves Dustin Ackley and Ronald Torreyes as the backups. Ackley will be the super utility man and who can sub in at first and second base to give Castro and Tex a day off.  He also can play some outfield if necessary to give some of the guys a rest. He isn’t a sexy player, and he won’t put up amazing numbers, but he will allow these guys a much needed rest when necessary, and perform competently.  Torreyes will sub on the left side of the infield at short and third when Headley and Didi need a rest.  He only had about 10 at bats during September of last year, but he obviously played well enough in Spring Training to win a spot. Austin Romine will probably be the backup catcher for now, and he is very good defensively, but his hitting leaves much to be desired. He will start the year as the backup, but I see Gary Sanchez eventually taking over this role in the near future. In the event that Tex goes down with injury or needs a day off, I like the idea of moving McCann to first to keep his bat in the lineup, and having Romine (or Sanchez) behind the plate.

The Yankees outfield stays the same and they get a tad younger with Aaron Hicks as the backup. I like having Hicks in there because he can play every outfield spot and can hit well. He will allow Beltran to rest or DH and can play to give Gardner or Ellsbury a rest when the Yankees are facing a lefty pitcher. I am confident that Gardner and Ellsbury will both have bounce back years. In 2015, both players were hurt and played through their injuries when they probably shouldn’t have. As a result, their numbers dipped tremendously as the season went on, especially Gardner, whose second half paled in comparison to his first half. This year, the Yankees have reliable options for subs to allow them to rest when necessary, which will hopefully allow both guys to remain fresh into October.

Everyone’s favorite, A-Rod, will be the starting DH again. He had a phenomenal year in 2015 and I think he almost reinvented himself, as he finally became the role model for this team. Alex wasn’t immune to fatigue either, as his numbers decreased throughout the year as well. With reliable backups, though, that will allow guys like Tex, McCann or Beltran to sub in at DH giving A-Rod rest when and if he needs it.

In 2016, and as it has been in recent years, the major key to the Yankees is rest and injuries. If Girardi can manage to give the vets regular rest, and the backups perform as I think they are capable of, they will be fine. The injury factor can make or break this team, as the starting staff, infielders, and outfielders all have players who have had long term injuries in the recent past. Hopefully, and as I believe will be the case, Girardi will manage this team well enough to prevent any major injury, and the Yankees will be successful. Don’t be surprised if we see some young assets make an impact this year at some point, in preparation for the departure of some of the older guys. This may be the last time we see the “same old Yankees,” as in the core of the team being expensive free agents of 4 or 5 years ago.

I don’t think the Yankees will win the AL East, not with Toronto and their stacked lineup around. The Yankees should do well enough to win a Wild Card and advance to the ALDS, and hopefully go further. I’m looking for an ALCS appearance at the least to call 2016 a success.

With that being said, Yankees fans should be excited for the season ahead and look for the team to build off of last year’s playoff appearance. Let’s go Yanks!

2016 Final Four Preview

Wow, what a crazy couple of weeks huh? This year’s tournament certainly has not disappointed, bringing us double digit seeds advancing, plentiful overtimes, long distance buzzer beaters, and quite possibly the greatest upset in NCAA Tournament history. After two crazy weekends, we finally are down to the Final Four. As I mentioned in my previous March Madness blog, this tournament was wide open, and on the majority of brackets, this Final Four was not present.

The main story of this year’s college basketball season was the senior. All four teams that made the Final Four have valuable seniors surrounded by veteran teams that have helped them get to Houston. Syracuse and North Carolina played each other twice earlier in the year, with UNC winning both at home and on the road. Oklahoma played Villanova at home and beat them. Obviously, things change from the regular season to the tournament and I, along with many media pundits, expect both games to be entertaining and close.

The first game of this evening will be Oklahoma vs. Villanova. This game is interesting for a few reasons. Buddy Hield is arguably the best player in college basketball, and has been very entertaining during this run. I think he is the motor for this Sooner team, as he has helped spark them during this tournament, and is arguably the biggest reason for their Final Four appearance. Given Hield’s performance all year long, this isn’t too surprising. Villanova, on the other hand, has shocked me completely. I did not feel confident in Villanova going into the tournament, especially given their loss to Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament, and their recent early exits in March Madnesses past. I was proven wrong when they beat Miami and Kansas last weekend in different fashions. In the Miami game, Nova shot the ball extremely well. They played a flawless game on the offensive end and beat Miami easily. Against Kansas, Nova played arguably their best defensive game of the year, by constantly challenging Kansas and limiting Perry Ellis’ scoring, frustrating the Jayhawks. Now, Villanova will meet Oklahoma in a game that has me extremely excited for 6:09pm to get here. Buddy Hield and Ryan Arcidiacono are the two seniors, leaders, and best shooters on their respective teams, and  both will have an impact on how this game goes. To try to neutralize Hield, it wouldn’t surprise me if Villanova puts Mikal Bridges, a lengthy defensive forward, on the senior Sooner to try and limit his offense. If Hield is going to be off with his shot which isn’t too likely, Oklahoma will need to get a lot of rebounds from Ryan Spangler, and I expect Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard to pick up their game on offense in this scenario. In the end, I think Oklahoma will prevail, as Hield is having a special season ala Kemba Walker with UConn. Both players lead their team and the nation in scoring, and I believe Hield will also lead his team to a National Championship.

The second game on Saturday night will be North Carolina vs Syracuse Part III. ACC games are always competitive, and when the stakes are this high, prior head-to-head results should be thrown out the window. Both teams are peaking at the right time, and that should lead to some exciting drama late into this Saturday night. Syracuse has been a shocking team this tournament, with nobody expecting them to go this far. They probably benefited the most from the top teams going down early, including the #2 team in their region, Michigan State, and their stunning first round loss. ‘Cuse has played phenomenally in two come from behind wins against Gonzaga and UVA, and the zone and press has caused all sorts of issues for teams this tournament, and I expect them to frustrate Carolina a bit as well. While Syracuse has battled through adversity in each round so far, UNC has had an easier ride, beating every opponent by at least 14 points. The Tar Heels have done so with great rebounding which has limited opponents to one shot and gave them second and third chances on offense, and also success from beyond the 3 point line. If they can hit that 3 ball against Syracuse, they should make it to the championship game on Monday night. I’m looking for Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney step up in this big spot for UNC to help them get past Syracuse. While this has been primarily a senior focused season, freshman Malachi Richardson has been huge for Carolina on both ends of the court and will have to continue that trend tonight. I think Joel Berry and Marcus Paige will need to hit their 3’s against the Cuse zone, and I do think they will be up to the task. Add in Brice Johnson and his double doubles in points and rebounds throughout the year, and one has a lot of to be confident about with this UNC squad. In light of this, I think the Cinderella story for Syracuse  will come to an end. UNC is too much to handle, and they are really clicking at the right time. Let’s not forget that UNC was the preseason number 1 entering the year, and if they perform as they should, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be in the finals after Saturday night’s festivities.

I am picking Oklahoma and North Carolina to win tonight and advance to the championship game. I think both of these teams’s veterans and success throughout the year will guide them to victory. The Tar Heels and Sooners should make for another wild game for the championship. Both teams really match up well with strong rebounders, scoring, and senior leadership. I think most or all of America would pick UNC to win this game, as they were the preseason favorites, have great scorers, and have arguably the best rebounder in all of college basketball. However, I think Oklahoma is on a special run, and that they are destined to be the UConn of 2011 or the Syracuse of 2003 where one player takes his game to a whole new level. Buddy Hield will be that player in 2016. His play this season has been truly special, and I don’t see it falling short of a championship.

 

All of America can agree that this tournament has been nothing short of incredible, and I really am hoping for some more drama during these final games. It would be great to see some nail biters coming down to the wire, or a buzzer beater shot to end a game, or a multi-overtime marathon, or who knows what else to go along with the madness of this tournament. Hopefully, these final games are as exciting as the others, but while they happen, let’s not forget to reflect on this college basketball season, and all the insanity we enjoyed because of it.