Scoreboard is be-all, end-all when judging worth of teams

Call me old-fashioned, but I think that, in a battle of two teams, the final score confirms which one is better.

But apparently my logic is as outdated as Blockbuster. My friends, and even some writers in this very newsroom, make it seem like I’m a flat-earth thinker in 1493.

According to them, the final score in a game between two teams is just as important as any other criteria when evaluating which is better.

The issue was brought up after people defended UNC Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach when he said, “This was the better team tonight,” referring to his squad after its 72-65 loss to Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Division I tournament.

I can’t believe this guy has a coaching job and can’t even figure out what the final score means.

Thankfully Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim responded with, “That’s why they make scoreboards.”

There are two hanging in the Hammermill Center, and there was one hanging above the hardwood Thursday at the pristine Consol Energy Center.  No matter the differences in size, shape or technology, scoreboards still display the same thing – who won. That’s their beauty.

The neon lights serve as the calculated answer after players finally hit the equal sign.

If you look at the equation of last week’s game, the Orange scored seven more times, grabbed six more rebounds, forced four more turnovers, blocked five more shots and stole the ball two more times than UNC Asheville. Sorry, Biedenbach, your team wasn’t better.

But their argument doesn’t stop there. Some think the NCAA tournament is a gimmick that doesn’t crown the best team as champion.

For example, a couple of my friends say that the Ohio State men’s basketball team was the best in the nation last year – ignoring brackets and final scores that say otherwise. They were a very good team – winning 34 games by an average of 20 points with three losses by an average of only six points – but they weren’t the best. They lost when it mattered and championship teams don’t do that.

If we start devaluing results of games, we’re violating one of the basic laws of sports – that two teams play and one team, the better one, wins.

If not the final score, how are we supposed to decide which team is better? For example, some say Ohio State’s loss to Kentucky last year wasn’t a legitimate way to prove the Buckeyes weren’t the best team. Well then what’s to say that the scores of the touted 34 wins were a legitimate way to prove they were the best team?

If one loss is null and void, what makes the wins valid?

If fans aren’t using scoreboards to accurately judge the worth and skill level of teams, why are the athletes even wasting their time playing games? Let’s just use perceptions, opinions and past performances to decide who to give the national championship and Super Bowl to at the beginning of the year.

My point is this: The best team always wins. There are no exceptions. There are no outliers.

Now that’s just some old-fashioned common sense.



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