I was watching the NCAA non-women’s tournament and I noticed they literally kept making the Big Ten teams leave? Like it didn’t matter who they were playing, no matter how Oral the Roberts or how Sister the Jean, they wouldn’t let the Big Ten team stay and play.
We MUST name this behavior: it’s gatekeeping, and it’s toxic.
To all the Big Ten teams who have been sent home I just want to say that I see you. You are valued. You have worth. Except for Ohio State, obviously.
There are so many reasons that this isn’t very sicko mode of the NCAA, but let’s just say that it’s literally super problematic and if they don’t drop the notes app apology soon we literally might cancel this much-beloved institution. It is sad and wrong that a Big Ten team hasn’t been allowed to shatter the glass backboard in over 20 years.
Honestly? I haven’t seen this much cultural control to prevent Midwesterners from dancing since Footloose. What do we have instead? Coastal elitism that only provides Sweet 16 access to the Pac 12. It’s truly a shame that an egalitarian organization like the NCAA would instead take it upon itself to decide who from the corn belt can or cannot contend for a spot in the Final Four.
Call me crazy, but the only “madness” this March is limiting college basketball’s most promising conference to 7–8 in tournament play. It’s time for the NCAA to stop limiting which teams can contend for a men’s college basketball championship.
So let’s check the gatekeeping receipts. And let’s end the cultural gatekeeping that has oppressed the Big Ten for far too long.