Conference basketball tournaments are like spring training baseball.
Mildly interesting, somewhat important, fodder for talk radio geeks but really not all that vital anymore.
Just today, Duke was beaten in the ACC tournament, Michigan was beaten in the Big Ten tournament, Georgetown was beaten in the Big East tournament and defending national champion Kentucky was defeated in the SEC tournament.
Yawn. With the exception of UK, what does it matter?
We moved past the time when people used to go crazy over a team like Duke getting knocked out of a conference tournament early.
Now that we all know it has zero impact on what happens in the NCAA tournament, the only people who are really making a fuss over it are those who need to fill air time.
For the ESPN or talk radio crowd, upsets are far more interesting to talk about than the status quo but we are all chewing on one big appetizer here.
Bring on the main course.
There are no office pools for the Big Ten tournament. Certainly not pools that anyone other than the boys in accounting get excited over.
Quick, who won the ACC tournament last year? Exactly.
Even Ohio State fans who bit their nails for 20 minutes while the Buckeyes toyed with Nebraska, knew even a loss to the Cornhuskers wouldn't keep the Bucks out of the Big Dance.
The post-season is awesome for its neutral courts, afternoon television and occasional buzzer beaters.
In the end though, it's only the few Cinderella's who steal titles that matter come Saturday and Sunday.
Everyone else moves on to the best part of the college basketball season. That time of year when any game could be the last for your team.
The madness has begun, but the real fun is yet to come.