March Madness is coming to an end – it never fails to provide great excitement for basketball junkies throughout the country.

March Madness is coming to an end – it never fails to provide great excitement for basketball junkies throughout the country.

This year, though, the tournament did not have a Cinderella team. It has been dominated by usual favorites – Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Louisville, Kansas and Baylor. They are all primary destinations for superior high school basketball talent – the hopefuls for a final destination in the NBA.

This year’s Kentucky team is filled with freshmen who are all one-and-done players who could probably make an NBA roster this year. Coach John Calipari’s team is the main-line recruiting destination for all the top AAU kids in the country. The main goal of these kids as a whole is not to obtain a college education, but to find a mere stepping stone to the NBA.

I have no issue with kids with a lot of natural ability who desire to move on to make major dollars for themselves and their families. Top programs have a major advantage in obtaining these players. But it is a joke when they discuss student-athletes. The reality is that they need to attend college for at least one year to satisfy the NBA rules.

The rules probably need to be analyzed for college programs. The requirements to play in the NBA need to be changed to either a mandatory two to three years in college or gotten rid of, allowing high school students to move directly into the NBA following graduation.

I firmly believe it is better for kids to attend college for a few years to grow and mature while developing their athletic talent, but the present one-year requirement is purely ridiculous. In addition, the NCAA is supposed to be all about education of athletes to provide career opportunities after an athletic career. If the players do not make it to the NBA and all of the financial perks that follow, they have a limited range of possibilities without an education.

Unfortunately, the current money and popularity created by basketball is the primary priority, not education of the student-athlete. This is not a new topic. It’s been kicked around for years. I think the system needs to quit faking it – make it about education or cut to the chase and allow them to step into the pro world directly out of high school!

n Bill Self did not have any of the one-and-done guys but he still had a superior year because of an outstanding job at coaching.  

n Talk is big about all of the depth and talent in the Royals’ bullpen this year. Let’s hope it proves out.  

n Tiger Woods is beginning to show signs of a heartbeat again. Maybe it will bring fun into the Masters this year.  

n Let’s hope the Chiefs stay the course in drafting offensive linemen in this year’s draft.  

n My quote of the week is from American writer Bernard Edmonds: “To dream anything that you want to dream. That is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.”