By David Ridderhoff on March 24, 2014
March Madness is one of the most exciting times for sports fans, as college students take to the floor with aspirations of winning a national championship and making themselves more attractive for possible NBA teams. From a sports junkie's standpoint, the NCAA tournament is the epitome of what is right with basketball and sports.
Here's a look at the Sweet 16 this year and how they compare to WWE superstars.
John Cena, just like Florida, is the favorite. Cena is the only superstar who can kick out of multiple finishers on Monday Night Raw. While it's common at PPVs, Raw is a place where finishers are usually sacred. Cena is always the favorite to win, while Florida is the no. 1 overall seed. If they both win, nobody will be surprised.
Big Show, just like UCLA, is a former powerhouse who dominated opponents. The two have both fallen off recently and are no where near as dominant as they once were. Both can be the best, but haven't been recently.
Zack Ryder and Dayton are both huge underdogs who legitimately have no chance of being champions. Ryder has had some success as U.S. champion, but will never even sniff the main event scene. Dayton has beaten two traditional powers in Ohio St. and Syracuse, but don't expect a Final Four run by the team. Both have talent, but won't be the best.
Besides Damien Sandow being a perfect fit for Stanford due to his intelligence, both share a common stretch of success followed by failure. Sandow won Money in the Bank, only to eventually lose the title shot and go on to never appear on television at all. Stanford looked to be on the upswing in the mid-2000s, but then fell off. Stanford is in its first NCAA tournament since 2008, while Sandow is finally getting back on Raw and Smackdown.
Both Batista and Virginia make you wonder where they've been for so long. While Batista left to pursue his own career path, Virginia fell off from being a powerhouse team after two Final Four appearances in the early 1980s. The 2014 NCAA tournament is only its fourth appearance since 2000. Despite that, they are a No. 1 seed. Just like them, Batista went away, came back, and won the Royal Rumble upon returning.
Both of these teams are very talented. Both of them can compete with anyone. However, neither of them are ever the best. Both team always contend and give fans hope, but neither can really take that next step. Even though Michigan St. won a national title in 2000, it's now just playing well and not impressing anyone. Likewise, the Real Americans never seem to be the best, but can defeat almost any team if they work together.
Woo! Iowa State is one of the most exciting, young programs in all of college basketball. Dolph Ziggler is one of the most exciting, young stars in the WWE. Both aren't going to be champion right now, but both make you want to get up and cheer for them. There's so much potential for both that conference championships and title belts could very well be in the near future.
Both Rey Mysterio and UConn seem to perform so much better when they're considered underdogs. Both are liable to fall flat when they're the favorites, but when they're not expected to do good things, they do great things. UConn is a no. 7 seed and won the 2011 NCAA national championship after entering the Big East tournament as the no. 9 seed. Mysterio is always an underdog due to his size, but is a former multiple-time champion as well.
Both Kane and Arizona are better known for their runs of dominance in the 1990s, yet both were never the best. Kane dominated from his debut and had plenty of amazing moments alongside Undertaker. Arizona had players like Mike Bibby and Jason Terry and won the 1997 NCAA national championship. However, it were never really the best in college basketball, just like Kane could never get out of the Undertaker's shadow.
Ryback and San Diego State are both new powerhouses. Neither have much history, yet both always compete with those who have more prestige. While neither is a champion, they'll continue to improve and could step up soon and surprise people. We've seen more surprising champions in both sports.
Baylor is a good basketball school who just seems to get too many chances to win. They're also not known for basketball as they're better at football. Mark Henry is a good wrestler who gets too many chances to main event. He's much more well known for his weightlifting than his run in the WWE. Regardless of how Baylor does, it can at least compare themselves to a well-known wrestler and don't have to deal with a hand-baby offcourt.
Wisconsin is a somewhat surprising story. Usually, the traditional Big Ten program relies on defense and smart play to win games. Wisconsin all of a sudden became an offensive juggernaut. Christian is a high-flyer who has a high motor and is extremely entertaining when on top of his game. Unfortunately, both sides have been overpowered. Wisconsin is overshadowed by Ohio State and Michigan State while Christian will live in Edge's shadow forever.
Both Brock Lesnar and Kentucky are extremely talented and well aware of it. They will let you know just how good they think they are. However, both have the tendency to not show up when needed. Kentucky began the season as the no. 1 program and were confident. However, they played below expectations and ended up as a no. 8 seed in the tournament. Lesnar is always intimidating, but is 1-2 at WrestleMania, losing to Goldberg and Triple H.
It's good to be the champ. Louisville is the defending NCAA national champion, while Randy Orton is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. While that's about it for similarities, that's really all that matters. They're on top and will be there until someone knocks them off. Both have huge targets on their backs and always need to be ready for what the opposition throws at them.
While it seems strange to compare a team with a decent basketball history like Tennessee to Santino Marella, both are underrated. Tennessee could be as high as a no. 5 seed, yet had to play its way into a no. 11 seed. It has proven its skill already, winning games by 19 and 20 points. Marella is a solid wrestler who is undoubtedly the funniest wrestler in the WWE. He's so entertaining and is actually pretty technically sound.
Last year, Michigan almost won the NCAA tournament as a no. 4 seed. This year it lost its best player in Trey Burke and were expected to do much worse. However, it is a no. 2 seed and is now the favorite in its region to reach the Final Four. People expected Damien Sandow to go on to main event while Rhodes would dabble in the mid-card and eventually leave the company. Instead, Rhodes has become a fan favorite and is a future world champ.
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