ah, selection sunday. i grew up in a house that rooted for the michigan wolverines in all sports, and i can still remember that fateful tournement game when chris webber called a time out the didn’t have. ouch. still hurts to think about it, too.
then i moved on to college myself, and while my first school was a division II (or possibly III, i can’t remember, nor do i care) that was the first year that the gonzaga bulldogs made it to the big dance. they were the little team that could, the cindarella story of the tournment, and all the way over on the east coast, where i was, no one had heard of them. i let out a little cheer every time the elevator in my dorm building would open on one of the guys floors, because they all had the bracket posted there. i didn’t have a TV, had little interest in watching the games, but i could keep track of how well the zags were doing just by riding the elevator up and down the west tower.
i eventually moved on to graduate from the university of washington, but by then i was out of school spirit. so despite the fact that my alma mater had made it in several years running (and made it in again this year) i really didn’t care. i had my team, and even though i’ve never attended gonzaga, they were mine.
until west virginia came dancing.
those mountaineers stomped all over their opponents until they reached the final rounds, and then inevitably someone would knock them out. me being the fickle person that i am, and having been disappointed in my zags for not winning the title in once in their 12 straight appearances, i have switched allegiances this season.
i suck at picking winners, so if i tell you that west virginia is my pick to win it all, they’ll probably lose. more likely it’ll be a quote unquote safe team, one of the number one seeds (although that long ago rooting for the wolverines makes me hope that the buckeyes get knocked out real quick-like). or possibly kentucky or memphis. maybe even georgetown. instead i’ll just sit back and watch some great games, cheer and groan along with the rest of this march madness-crazed nation, and point out a few feel good stories:
- north colorado is making their very first tournament appearance. hooray!
- oakland is making their second straight appearance, having made the tournament last season (i think for the first time).
- a few teams i’ve never heard of: hampton, wofford, and belmont. but hey, with this expanded bracket, they’re in!
sadly, the gaels of st. mary’s, despite having knocked off conference champs gonzaga, several times during the regular season didn’t even make a play-in game this time around. oh well.
so grab some beers, nachos, and your comfy chair. the rest of this month is going to be a lot of fun!