Thursday, March 19, 2009
After a bone chilling winter we can now finally feel spring just around the corner. With the weather heating up, what better way to celebrate the coming warmth than with some heated action on the courts in the NCAA Tournament? This is one of my favorite weekends of the year by far. Each year in March Madness we are treated to some major upsets, unlikely heroes, and some great basketball games. I submit that March Madness is one of the single greatest sporting events ever. Maybe someday I'll actually win a March Madness pool.
The NCAA Tournament has the power to turn unknown basketball players into national heroes for a few weeks. Who can forget people in years past like Khalid El-Amin, Wally Szczerbiak, Bryce Drew, and Tyus Edney? Their tournament heroics made them into NCAA legends even though they didn't go on to do that much more. El-Amin became a pot smoking fat midget, as opposed to just a fat midget, and is playing overseas somewhere. Bryce Drew had a few unproductive years in the NBA. Tyus Edney was drafted by the Kings and then faded into oblivion. Szczerbiak has had a decent career, but will always be remembered for taking Miami of Ohio to the Sweet 16 as a #10 seed. Though they might not have had successful pro careers, these men will always be remembered as legends of the NCAA Tournament.
Often more so than the players, we remember the upsets. Teams like UCLA, Arizona, Duke and Indiana never get my total trust in the tournament based on times that they have burned me in the past. Who can forget Princeton's back door offense and the way they upset UCLA years back? Or Kerry Kittles' Villanova Wildcats getting bounced by Old Dominion in 1995 in 3 overtimes; a very dark day in Philadelphia. How many people hate George Mason for wrecking their bracket by getting to the Final Four in 2006? Imagine going to one of these schools that pulled off a major upset in the tournament. This is the stuff dreams are made of. The tournament would become stale without some of these classic upsets, regardless of what they do to our brackets.
Upset or not, last second hero or blowout, we are always treated to some great basketball games in March Madness. A #1 vs. #16 game is always good for a few 360 dunks, vicious rejections and unskilled white guys getting embarrassed. Meanwhile, an #8 vs. #9 game is usually very close and often comes down to the last possession, except for today's Texas A&M over BYU rout *cough* DBillz *cough*. All the while we get to highlight our correct selections like we are Zandar the Magnificent, or watch our brackets explode before our very eyes like fireworks on Bastille Day.
No doubt this years NCAA Tournament will not disappoint in providing us with at least one unlikely hero, an upset or two, a Cinderella team and plenty of great basketball. We'll just have to sit back and watch it all unfold. I gotta run though, game's on!