A "Live n' good" beginning

SALT LAKE CITY- This year's NCAA tournament is full of intrigue and controversy, which makes March Madness the best time of the year for the sports fan. From the BYU scheduling mix-up to a questionable pairing of the country's two top teams on the same side of the bracket, the tournament has already caused quite a stir.

Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood has been at the center of the public's criticisms and been the topic of some interesting conspiracy theories. The trouble started for the tournament committee when it bracketed BYU in a game that would be played on a Sunday if the Cougars reach the Elite Eight. The odds of BYU getting to that game in the tournament are slim, however the mistake has been pointed out and criticized by almost every basketball analyst in the country.

Another intriguing aspect of this year's tourney is that the two best teams in the country, Kentucky and Arizona, are on the same side of the bracket. Their potential match-up would occur in the Final Four semi-final game and not the national championship as many had expected. A Kentucky fan speculated on our message boards that the reason for the matchup occurring in the semi-final as opposed to the title game is because Livengood wanted to give Arizona a week to prepare for Kentucky as compared to the one day of preparation allowed before the Championship game. As interesting as this theory is, Livengood is only one of the tournament committee members and does not have the sole power to make such a decision. In fact, Livengood didn't even have a vote when Arizona was considered. As well, the days of preparation benefit both teams and should result in the two best teams being well prepared and rested should the matchup occur.

The West bracket is yet another controversy. Most observers believe having Arizona, Kansas, Duke, Illinois, and Notre Dame all in one bracket creates the most difficult Road to the Final Four. On the other hand, some think that although Arizona's bracket is simply full of big names, the Wildcats pair favorably in matchups with the likes of Illinois and Duke or Kansas. Few analysts, surprisingly, have the Wildcats projected to make their way out of the deep West Region to the Final Four. Whatever the outcome of this tournament, the games will definitely be exciting, especially in the West.

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