For a second, just a second, put down your bracket sheet and watch the games. Because this year, if you're a Suns fan, it matters.
Indiana isn't just a one seed that may bust your bracket; they're Victor Oladipo or Cody Zeller. Georgetown isn't just that team that has lost to double digit seeded teams in the last four tournaments; they're Otto Porter. Kansas isn't just that team that "gets tight vs. mid-majors in the tournament" in the words of Jay Bilas; they're Ben McLemore.
They aren't just teams on blank bracket sheets with office pools hanging in the balance. One of those players might be just good enough to make the losing worth it.
As I write this, the Suns are tied for the third-worst record in the NBA, and that sits just fine with me. The loss to Washington on Saturday was productive. What kind of fan would dare root for the Lakers to beat the Suns? The same who understands that, like a surgeon, sometimes it's necessary to cut to heal.
This isn't meant to be another diatribe on why the Suns (or Suns fans) should want to lose. But I think as we dive into another NCAA Tournament, the stakes have changed. Yeah, I want to win my office pool as much as the next guy. But I also want to know if there is somebody out there who will make losing to the freakin' Wizards on a Saturday night worth it.
From here on out it's not just about ping pong balls. The losses have a face. It's "if i'm bad enough I could have this guy....or that guy."
Trust me, if a superstar emerges these next three weeks, you won't give a hoot if the Suns lose every game this year. You might not even care if you lose the office pool to the doofus in the cubicle next door.