This is obviously a work of satire. Enjoy nonetheless.
Announcer: Welcome to Bubble Battle! It’s the reality show where your favorite college basketball team has a chance to put up or shut up once and for all. During the next 10 weeks these 10 teams will play a round-robin “bubble conference” schedule. We’ll show you the results in just a minute, but first let’s meet the contestants.
<Pans around the room, see a bunch of head coaches sitting in chairs on stage>
Announcer: First up are the Seton Hall Pirates. They’ve got one good win, over Georgetown, but having played in the Big East are sitting right around the bubble. They didn’t even finish .500 in conference, even with the conference tournament, but head coach Kevin Willard thinks his team should be in.
Willard: We challenged ourselves this season. With wins over VCU, Connecticut and Georgetown at least we beat a couple NCAA teams.
Announcer: Next up is Tim Cluess and his Iona Gaels. Iona has the best offense in the field, but were inconsistent during MAAC play and ended up losing in the semifinals to Fairfield, which is playing in the CIT. Their best wins are over Denver, Nevada and Saint Joseph’s — none of which will be in the NCAAs. Still, they feel they’re deserving of an at-large bid.
Cluess: I think we’ve got a lot of talent on this team. We’re better than the eight or ninth team in the Big East. I’m glad we get a chance to prove it.
Announcer: I’m sure you all recognize Northwestern’s Bill Carmody, South Florida’s Stan Heath, N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried and Cal’s Mike Montgomery. They’ve all been here before. <All nod solemnly> Welcome Marshall’s Tom Herrion, Drexel’s Bruiser Flint, and Dayton’s Archie Miller to the show as well. <Applause> I almost forgot, Miami’s Jim Larranaga is over there in the corner. He’s switching sides this season and got lost in the transition. <Larranaga waves and smiles awkwardly>
Announcer: Well, you all know why we’re here, so why don’t we get the games started? As you know, you’ll be playing 10 weeks of round-robin basketball. Those games alone will determine your status on the NCAA bubble. Same games, same courts. No excuses. Anyone have any questions?
Audience Member: A results oriented process? This surely isn’t run by the NCAA?
Announcer: Nope, this tournament isn’t run by the NCAA. It’s actually sponsored by the People For Common Sense (PFCS), who eventually hope to bring you the CBBCL. Unfortunately, this is the best they could do.
Carmody: But the bids count, right? You’re not going to stick my team in the First Four afterwards so everyone can say we’ve never been a part of the NCAA Tournament’s Top 64, right?
Announcer: Of course they count. Now lets get things started. Here’s a montage of all the games. <Long montage plays with basketball games going in the background, tip-ins, buzzer beaters, all sorts of lucky shots, eventually it fades to black>
Announcer: And here are the final standings. Remember the Top 5 teams from this group are expected to make the tournament. Finishing in a tie for first with 12 wins apiece, Cal and Iona. Congratulations to both of you, by winning 2/3 of your games this season you’ve advanced to the NCAA tournament.
Cluess: Always glad to have the opportunity, thanks for supporting smaller programs everywhere.
Announcer: Finishing in third place with 11 wins is Drexel. Congratulations to the Dragons. And winning a three-way tie for fourth place with nine wins are South Florida and Dayton. Congrats to the dancing Bulls and Flyers.
Larranaga: Hey wait, we won nine games too. What about us?
Announcer: You really think any of this is fair? The games were decided by an average of two points. So about 12 points total separates first place Cal from 10th place Northwestern and you think this is fair? It’s like you’d rather a committee figured out what teams get at-large bids.
Carmody: I sort of like the idea of a committee. Process breeds good results.
Willard: Yeah, humans understand the emotions of playing in a college basketball game so much better.
Herrion: Or we could expand to 72 teams?
Carmody: Then we’ll never win.
<Announcer walks off stage>