- Associated Press - Sunday, March 18, 2012

Welcome to a special academic-themed edition of BracketRacket, your one-stop shopping for all things NCAA on tournament game days. Ohio State fans may want to go directly to item No. 2. Everyone else begin here:

March Madness isn’t just about basketball. It’s not the only championship this month. It’s not even the only one that makes heavy use of a pool.

In case you missed it, Ohio State, with a basketball team plenty good enough to cut down the nets in New Orleans, just won the U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming championship. Neither is a coincidence. Decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing.

On the one hand, if we want Olympians in minor-minor sports, they have to come from _ and train _ somewhere. And you can’t do better than Ohio State. On the other, the Buckeyes nudged out tiny University of the Incarnate Word to win, and almost-as-small Lindenwood finished a distant third. Those two, combined, probably could squeeze into the OSU cafeteria.

When we spoke to NCAA boss Mark Emmert last week, he said one of his toughest tasks was keeping the playing field level when teams that spend $5 million a year play those that spend $150 million. He’s got some good ideas, and a few will make it into his “State of the NCAA” speech on the eve of the Final Four.

Then the pages they’re printed on will be rolled up and used to light the pipes of the university presidents who control the NCAA and keep Emmert on a short leash. To save paper _ and breath _ Emmert simply should hand out the synchronized swimming results and walk out of the room.

But this really isn’t about synchronized swimming; it’s about what you saw on the court last night. After a couple of stunners Friday night, the remaining members of college basketball’s 1 percent managed to pull off their gloves, a few just in the nick of time.

Ohio State over Gonzaga. Kentucky over Iowa State. Indiana over VCU. Marquette over Murray State. Louisville over New Mexico.

Big over little, have over have-not.

That’s no coincidence, either.

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JUST BECAUSE WE CAN

Put down your pencils and go to the 1:30 mark for an a capella version of “One Shining Moment” here: http://apne.ws/yUOSdf

CBS, eat your heart out.

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Story Continues →