If you're a sports fan, think about the past year. Think of the most exciting sporting event that took place over more than one day. I'll wait.
Done? Good. What did you come up with?
The Olympics? OK, so if you're like most people, you watched four, maybe five events.
The NFL playoffs? Decent choice. They're pretty predictable most years, though. And all anyone really cares about - if their favorite team is out - is the Super Bowl.
The World Series? If you like watching baseball while there's snow outside, you need to get yourself checked by a licensed professional.
NBA playoffs? Now I know you're lying.
The correct answer is March Madness. This year's tournament, despite the heartbreaking lack of my beloved Tar Heels, has been one of the most exciting tournaments in recent memory, with underdogs and upsets abound.
Two No. 5 seeds played in the Final Four this year, for goodness sake! It's appropriate that this year was so unpredictable (Cornell dominates!), so controversial (Robert Morris got cheated!), so exciting (Northern Iowa!) and so much fun.
Why is it "appropriate?"
It's appropriate because the NCAA is now going to murder it.
It's nearly a foregone conclusion that the NCAA will soon implement a plan that will increase the size of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament from 65 to 96 teams. Now why does that kill the greatest sporting event in the country? What does that mean?
That means that more than a quarter of the 347 teams in Division I will make it into the NCAA Tournament. It means that 32 teams will get a bye into the second round, basically meaning that those big first-round upsets everyone loves will be gone.
Why would the NCAA mess with its most successful event? Money.
Why is there no playoff system in college football? Money. The bowls and their sponsors shell out enormous amounts of cash - cash that the NCAA won't give up for something as trivial as "fair play."
Why would money be the impetus behind an expanded bracket? TV. Add 32 more playoff teams means 16 more games, which means 16 more games for CBS to put on the air. Does it matter that the 96-team tournament, as the NCAA has laid it out, will keep basketball players out of school for two weeks straight at the end of the school year? No.
A 96-team tournament will forever kill "bracketology."
Why is March Madness so popular? Because it's one of the biggest gambling events in the country. Office pools are so popular, and so easy to get sucked into, that people who don't watch basketball all year long happily take part. Your company's 70-year-old receptionist will fill out a ballot, even though she wants to take "whatever team that Mikey Jordan plays for."
Does anyone, anywhere, really want to pick 48 games for their bracket? I, for one, won't do it. I can't imagine any casual fan will even consider it. The magic of the first Thursday and Friday of March Madness? When no one works very far from a television or streaming online feed? That will never be the same.
Ratings will drop like a stone, and the NCAA will be forced to realize that it killed its biggest event. R.I.P. March Madness.
Keith Frederick is a member of the Mirror Life Department and editor of Go Magazine. He also writes a blog "Rough Cut," for altoonamirror.com.