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Fifth Third or Sweet Sixteen


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As we all struggled through some of the opening round games of this year's Sweet Sixteen while sitting cheek-to-cheek in our $13.50 seats, eating our $10 Smoked Sausage and Pop, after having hiked in from the outer forty after paying $8 for that parking privilege, after leaving our $75 hotel rooms, I'm not sure that the mid-season Fifth-Third Classic held at Lexington Catholic isn't the far superior tournament providing superior bang for your basketball buck.

 

While the Sweet-Sixteen has the mystique and atmosphere, the 5th/3rd has the quality teams and top flight competition making it a much better basketball tournament, with no window dressing teams nor restrictions to invite only one great team from each region and no obligation to invite teams from notably weak regions.

 

The Fifth-Third will obviously never take the place of the "Greatest Moneymaker in Hoops" (nor should it), but it is undeniably a far more competitive basketball tournament with a field comprised of top-flight competition and is dollar for dollar your best basketball competition buy.

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As we all struggled through some of the opening round games of this year's Sweet Sixteen while sitting cheek-to-cheek in our $13.50 seats, eating our $10 Smoked Sausage and Pop, after having hiked in from the outer forty after paying $8 for that parking privilege, after leaving our $75 hotel rooms, I'm not sure that the mid-season Fifth-Third Classic held at Lexington Catholic isn't the far superior tournament providing superior bang for your basketball buck.

 

While the Sweet-Sixteen has the mystique and atmosphere, the 5th/3rd has the quality teams and top flight competition making it a much better basketball tournament, with no window dressing teams nor restrictions to invite only one great team from each region and no obligation to invite teams from notably weak regions.

 

The Fifth-Third will obviously never take the place of the "Greatest Moneymaker in Hoops" (nor should it), but it is undeniably a far more competitive basketball tournament with a field comprised of top-flight competition and is dollar for dollar your best basketball competition buy.

Mustang -

 

You made some nice points in favor of the 5/3 tournament, and I agree with many of them (I thought the "Greatest Moneymaker in Hoops" was pretty witty). I also agree with Westsider, in that the LIT was a better tournament than the 5/3. If you want to see some excellent talent, you can go to the Eddie Ford AAU tournament in Louisville.

 

All of those tournaments fail to carry the same mystique as the Sweet Sixteen for a good reason, though. I don't see anyone from around the state (i.e. Knott County, Adair County, Gallatin County, Greenup County, etc.) traveling to watch them, unless their team (or a family member) is playing in them. There is no chance of "the little guy" pulling an upset, and winning those tournaments - because there is no "little guy" even in them. Only the most dedicated of the hardcore basketball junkies is going to travel two, three, or four hours to watch basketball games that they have no connection to. When you go to Rupp to watch the State Tournament, you will see a ton of sweatshirts, tee shirts, hats, etc. from schools that aren't in the tournament, and some that haven't been in it for more than twenty years. When you go to the other tournaments, it is rare to even see basketball coaches from around the state in attendance. Yet all of them pencil in the Sweet Sixteen, even if their teams have zero chance of making the field.

 

Frances

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Obviously the State Tournament is indeed a rite of spring - a culmination of the just completed season, and a mecca for all of us to gather and socialize as well as idolize those who earn the coveted sixteen spots.

 

You can be O.I.T, A.I.T, L.I.T., 5th/3rd, or Dairy Queen Classic champs in perhaps a more competitive setting, but the KHSAA conducts the only tournament that carries the "State Champion" moniker.

 

Much like the Travers Stakes, Santa Anita Handicap, or Dubai Classic, there is only one Kentucky Derby, and while the purse money may be better or the competition steeper - the Kentucky Derby, much like the State Tournament is the HolyGrail.

 

My point is that for bang for your basketball buck, the 5th/3rd and certainly the L.I.T. provide a higher quality product for the true affectionados of the game, rather than the carnival atmosphere and mis-matched brackets of the State Tournament.

 

Those of us who toil for an entire year in the game certainly target participation in the State Tournament as our ultimate goal, and being a part of the social event should we come up short, is sort of the reward that comes with it.

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Mustang -

 

You made some nice points in favor of the 5/3 tournament, and I agree with many of them (I thought the "Greatest Moneymaker in Hoops" was pretty witty). I also agree with Westsider, in that the LIT was a better tournament than the 5/3. If you want to see some excellent talent, you can go to the Eddie Ford AAU tournament in Louisville.

 

All of those tournaments fail to carry the same mystique as the Sweet Sixteen for a good reason, though. I don't see anyone from around the state (i.e. Knott County, Adair County, Gallatin County, Greenup County, etc.) traveling to watch them, unless their team (or a family member) is playing in them. There is no chance of "the little guy" pulling an upset, and winning those tournaments - because there is no "little guy" even in them. Only the most dedicated of the hardcore basketball junkies is going to travel two, three, or four hours to watch basketball games that they have no connection to. When you go to Rupp to watch the State Tournament, you will see a ton of sweatshirts, tee shirts, hats, etc. from schools that aren't in the tournament, and some that haven't been in it for more than twenty years. When you go to the other tournaments, it is rare to even see basketball coaches from around the state in attendance. Yet all of them pencil in the Sweet Sixteen, even if their teams have zero chance of making the field.

 

Frances

 

This is a great AAU tournament. Some top notch teams are there. Eddie Ford has an Eddie Ford Hoops Kentucky Allstar team. Some top notch players from the state are selected in this. I watched some games a couple years ago when Tyson Gross was on the sophmore-to-be team. He played on this team with Daniel Ard from western KY, Patrick Elliot(Pendalton.Jackson) Matt Marton(George Rog.Clark) , Zach Medfor(Williamstown), Bryany McCarter(Siler Grove, this is the only ones i can remember off the top of my head.There were other from Louisville and some Norther Ky school that could play.

On the senior-to-be team was, Chris Lofton(Mason/UT/Mr. basketball), Justin Taylor(Tate Cr./playing at Jr.College then possible going toUT), Micheal Bush(Male/signed with Louisville for Foorball/got Mr.Football and runner up for Mr.Basketball), Big Guy(very tought now playing at Georgetown) and the 2guard from Pad. Til(cant remember their name that carried them to the state runner-up).And a couple other that just left me while typing this. This was considered by Eddie Ford to be the top 2 if not the top team he'd put together in the senior division(I dont question this).

Talk about tpo notch competition and one heck of a lineup.

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Can't believe I'm replying to this...but maybe what should be done to satisfy the "bang for the buck" theory is tell regions 14, 15, and 16 to stay at the house because they stink...right, isn't that really is what it's all about???

 

Just have a state tournament for regions 1-13, or make it like the NCAA with the 14,15, and16 draw straws for the "PLAY IN" game....winner advances to Sweet Sixteen just like the 65th team of the NCAA.:rolleyes:

 

People just can't get it to sink in....this year, the quality of the talent level FROM ALL REGIONS....was down.

 

Millions of arguments can be made but fact of the matter is....the setup of the sweet 16 is what makes it unique...of course you could argue there were 20 teams who never made it to Rupp who could've won the state title...and I really believe that, but that's "survive and advance"

 

Personally, I thought the tournament was rather boring, level of play was average, and nobody could score...but that does not make me believe that the State tournament is bad, suspect, nor should be changed to a class system which is absolutely absurd.

 

Just get a grip....it's basketball, it's a sport, and it's Kentucky.

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Mustang -

 

You made some nice points in favor of the 5/3 tournament, and I agree with many of them (I thought the "Greatest Moneymaker in Hoops" was pretty witty). I also agree with Westsider, in that the LIT was a better tournament than the 5/3. If you want to see some excellent talent, you can go to the Eddie Ford AAU tournament in Louisville.

 

All of those tournaments fail to carry the same mystique as the Sweet Sixteen for a good reason, though. I don't see anyone from around the state (i.e. Knott County, Adair County, Gallatin County, Greenup County, etc.) traveling to watch them, unless their team (or a family member) is playing in them. There is no chance of "the little guy" pulling an upset, and winning those tournaments - because there is no "little guy" even in them. Only the most dedicated of the hardcore basketball junkies is going to travel two, three, or four hours to watch basketball games that they have no connection to. When you go to Rupp to watch the State Tournament, you will see a ton of sweatshirts, tee shirts, hats, etc. from schools that aren't in the tournament, and some that haven't been in it for more than twenty years. When you go to the other tournaments, it is rare to even see basketball coaches from around the state in attendance. Yet all of them pencil in the Sweet Sixteen, even if their teams have zero chance of making the field.

 

Frances

You really hit the nail on the head. Great post

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Agree with you 100 percent on this one Mustang....

 

I went to both Wednesday sessions of the sweet 16 last year, and after I got done paying 9 bucks for all day parking, 30 bucks for my tickets, and 6 bucks for a meal at A&W, I felt cheated in a way, and money was the main reason I didn't make it up Wednesday for the Sweet Sixteen this year....

 

I have went to the 5/3rd the last two years, and I find it some of the best basketball played during the year. Get to meet up with some old friends (Brandon Salsman came to mind this year) and for 5 bucks a day, it's a steal....

 

I also recommend the Kentucky Bank Shootout to basketball fans. The shootout is at Bourbon Co. High School, and Oak Hill has come the last two years. If you like watching some of the top teams from out of state, (mainly the last session) or some of the best in state teams (the first two sessions), it's worth the seven buck admission.....

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As we all struggled through some of the opening round games of this year's Sweet Sixteen while sitting cheek-to-cheek in our $13.50 seats, eating our $10 Smoked Sausage and Pop, after having hiked in from the outer forty after paying $8 for that parking privilege, after leaving our $75 hotel rooms, I'm not sure that the mid-season Fifth-Third Classic held at Lexington Catholic isn't the far superior tournament providing superior bang for your basketball buck.

 

While the Sweet-Sixteen has the mystique and atmosphere, the 5th/3rd has the quality teams and top flight competition making it a much better basketball tournament, with no window dressing teams nor restrictions to invite only one great team from each regionand no obligation to invite teams from notably weak regions.

 

The Fifth-Third will obviously never take the place of the "Greatest Moneymaker in Hoops" (nor should it), but it is undeniably a far more competitive basketball tournament with a field comprised of top-flight competition and is dollar for dollar your best basketball competition buy.

 

You make some nice points, but........

 

In case you didnt notice, the teams in the Sweet 16 dont get invited. They EARN their way there. Every team in the state has a chance to get to the state tourney, but they must do so on the court.

 

That is the beautiful thing about the Sweet 16, or any playoff system. It isnt about who we think is the best team, or what team looks the best on paper. Its about which team proves it on the court.

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