Opinion: NBA should have a tournament like March Madness. It would be a slam dunk.

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USA TODAY Sports’ Martin Rogers breaks down the why the Warriors will not rest down the stretch of the regular season.
USA TODAY

It hasn’t been the greatest (or maddest) March ever, but the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament have reminded us of a necessary truth. While competitive basketball is a lot of fun, basketball in a sudden-death format is fun magnified.

All of which makes it somewhat odd that the NBA, the pinnacle of the sport, almost never takes place in circumstances where everything boils down to one decisive contest that offers zero forgiveness for failure.

America has an appetite for brackets and a thirst for single-elimination drama. The NBA needs a tournament of its own, and it needs it now.

Game sevens of playoff series are the sole instances where the thrill of having no margin for error takes hold at the pro level, but it takes a heck of a slog to get there. And by the time you do, the teams are already so familiar with each other that it feels like the continuation of a marathon rather than a winner-take-all epic.

It is time for the NBA to revisit an outstanding idea that commissioner Adam Silver first proposed in 2014 and spoke about again…

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