Cinderella’s a Whore

I get irritated by commentators who claim that major-college football and men’s basketball are a priori corrupt. (I’m talking about you, King Kaufman.) I don’t disagree with the assertion; I object to the conclusion as an unsubstantiated premise, an article of faith.

On the other hand, we often create this mythic aura of purity around underdogs, such as the surprising Bradley Braves in the current NCAA men’s basketball tournament. But Cinderella is no virgin, says Jacob Leibenluft in a Slate article supported by compelling anecdotal evidence:

“If Duke and UConn are the Yankees and Red Sox of college basketball, then Bradley and Wichita State are the NCAA’s Royals and Tigers. They have less money and less talent than the sport’s bluebloods, but that doesn’t make them any more honest.”

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