Like Christmas where the whole month leading up to Christmas is joyous and exciting especially with kids, I look at March and the NCAA Tournament in a similar way. I call the tournament my "Christmas". Right now high school teams are vying for State Championships, grade schools are competing in the league playoffs and college teams are starting to gear up for the best time of the year.
In my experience as a player, coach and fan, I have found that teams that are obviously talented have the advantage but the KEY ingredient for me is who is the playing the best basketball. In recent years we have seen examples of teams that started to click either in their last league game or league tournament. The teams that are clicking are in a groove. May not have the most talent but each member of that team is dialed in to their role, gotten comfortable through trial and error with that role and have accepted the fact that the goal of a championship supersedes any individual needs or wants at that time.
What you see than is more hustle plays going their way, better rebounding, and better execution on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. As a coach, you try to harness in that KEY ingredient at the end of the season leading to tournament play. I coach shorter practices, stay on a consistent schedule and beginning in January through February work on improving each and every one of our player's skills.
As a player, I wanted to know my role and to continue to work on honing my skills to help my team. I also wanted to understand our team's function in every aspect of the game . Our defensive plans , and our offensive plans. Improving execution as a team in all facets is what I wanted for tournament play.
As a fan, I want to see each team play to their best. It is very hard to watch a talented team with little direction squeak out a win knowing full well that they are hanging on for dear life. I want to see both teams playing at their best and the last team with possession execute to win the game. Idealistic I know but very true. I do not believe as a fan that their are upsets in March. I believe the team that believes in themselves and has the KEY ingredient can beat any team more talented or not.