Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ode to March Madness

What a great tournament so far! I could be wrong, but it sure feels like more upsets than usual. I think we're going to see some new blood in the Final Four. Really excited for Northern Iowa, couple Green Bay kids on that team. Watching KState/BYU right now. I love the Fredette kid, but KState is awfully tough, very tenacious. Not very happy about how my Badgers played yesterday. They better play a lot better tomorrow against Cornell or their run will be over. I'd love to see them have a crack at Kentucky. Of course, Kentucky is pounding Wake Forest by 30 right now, but that's the thing about the tournament, you never know.

The tournament has always been my favorite sporting event of the year. So many great memories, where do you even start. I remember One Shining Moment before it was a big deal. My earliest memory is Al McGuire and Marquette winning the title in '77. My dad went to Marquette, so that was our team. A few years later some of the Marquette players came to my school, St. Thomas More, for a little basketball clinic, and I remember being in awe. When Marquette fell on hard times, I just kind of followed the game in general, usually pulling for the underdogs. I remember losing my mind, like everyone else of course, when Lorenzo Charles snatched that ball out of midair and slammed it home. I loved Rollie and Nova taking down mighty Georgetown. Keith Smart"s jumper in '87 was a highlight of my senior year. Unfortunately, the Badgers never made the tournament when I was a student, that would have been amazing. My buddies and I followed Tony Bennett and UWGB during our college years; their victory over Jason Kidd and Cal was huge for the state. The Badgers finally became a factor in the Dick Bennett era. It wasn't always pretty, but they won, and if it wasn't for Michigan State, we probably would have won the national championship in 2000(?). Bo Ryan has turned UW into a perennial power on the hardwood, but in my mind, the Badgers have often underachieved in the tournament. They had a nice Elite 8 run a few years back, losing a tough one to eventual champ, North Carolina, but other than that, too many loses to lower seeds. Hell, last year Trevon had me jumping up and down with the buzzer beater against Florida State in the first round.

Kentucky is mighty Goliath this year, but who knows, if Wisconsin can take care of Cornell tomorrow, maybe they can pull off a classic David in the Sweet 16. That's what this tournament is all about.

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