If surveying casual sports fans and/or the general public in reference to what the most popular sports are in America, the safe bet would be football and basketball. To go a step further, the NFL and NBA would most likely be a part of the conversation which would appear to make sense considering some of the biggest stars are featured in these leagues that include the likes of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. However in taking a closer look, it's clear that both the NFL and NBA are battling some significant perception challenges.

Perception challenges plaguing Major Pro Sports

First, with the NFL, it appears that the New England Patriots always win in spite of multiple cheating allegations, and overall the growing concern over concussions is damaging football as whole. To briefly throw college football into the equation, the world is well aware that Alabama will be competing in the championship game on a near annual basis.

In the case of the NBA, it seems almost predictable which teams will play in the NBA finals that is in part due to the league's brightest stars now teaming up to win championships.

The NCAA Tournament is a stark contrast from Pro Sports Playoffs

For NCAA basketball and the Ncaa Tournament, you get the exact opposite. University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari typically lands top recruits, and each season is expected to have one of the top teams in the nation, but only has one championship throughout his career to show for it.

The Michigan Wolverines "Fab Five" team that was arguably the most talented group in College Basketball from 1991 - 1993 did not win a national title. Teams like Michigan State are always considered to be a Final Four threat even when lacking top tier talent. By the way, did anyone pick Villanova to win it all last season?

The NCAA Tournament is intriguing because of the high level of unpredictability

College basketball is far less predictable and this year's NCAA tournament comes at a perfect time where there is no huge favorite.

Many college basketball fans are anxious to see what teams will be the next VCU, Butler, or George Mason, who in 2006 captivated a nation with a surprise Final Four appearance. Another aspect that sets the tourney apart is the focus on the schools and/or teams as opposed to overwhelming attention on single players. While one could argue that guys such as UCLA guard Lonzo Ball or Kentucky's Malik Monk do receive major coverage; there is no guarantee that either will be playing into the final weekend.

In spite of these trends, it's almost a certainty that many fans of March Madness will pick UCLA or Kentucky to win the national championship.

Isn't that the beauty of the NCAA tournament? Many sports fans in schools, dormitories, barber shops, work places, and offices all across America will soon be filling out brackets. And in this case there are no fantasy players to choose from, but just a focus on the schools.

It's also a certainty that most brackets will be full of red lines from games wrongly predicted. Lastly, there's an expectation that the student athletes will give maximum effort. Better effort than some professionals who are paid ridiculous salaries. Why the effort you ask? Maximum effort will provide a legitimate chance at winning in a tournament where upsets occur every year. Additionally, many of these student athletes understand what's at stake as only approximately 12% go onto play professional basketball. Enjoy March Madness while it lasts because once it's over it'll be a countdown to Warriors vs. Cavs.

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