Players are left out of March Madness money

UCLA on top of the world one minute, then down in the dumps and sent packing the next. USC proving the Pac-10 tournament wasn’t a fluke. The Cowboys of Oklahoma State and the Volunteers of Tennessee trading last-minute haymakers like Ali against Frazier, their final round, their final fight.

This is a beautiful time of year. Sit back, breathe in March Madness, enjoy.
Just don’t get bamboozled, for there is more to this heart-thumping event — America’s two-week Spring Hoops Fling — than what shows. My advice: Love every minute of the slick production, the colors, the gloss. But don’t forget, you’re watching a charade.

The NCAA trumps itself up as guardian of the lofty ideal of amateurism. How sweet.