As my friend Gregg put it...this is "the greatest weekend in sports." No arguments here. College basketball explodes like a Fourth of July fireworks display in a sleepy midwest town - bright lights, noise and excitement burst into the dark sky, blasting away boredom. It happens every March and madness does indeed ensue.
I got my first taste of it live Friday. Went to Chicago with my brother and saw a couple of games. Let me tell you - hardwood, pom-pons, and rabid fans are an intoxicating mix. And we're only talking about the first round.
Saw UNLV beat Georgia Tech in a close game to start. The Runnin' Rebels were fun to watch. I felt bad for the G Tech kids though. But that's what the tournament is all about. Winning and losing - and, ultimately, the way people deal with both.
After a short break, the Wisconsin Badgers took the court to play Texas A&M Corpus Christi. You'll be forgiven if you just found yourself saying' "Who?"
Well, the Islanders of Corpus Christi turned out to be a lot more memorable than I would have ever guessed. They were sort of the little team that could for a while and had a sort of infectious joie de vivre that they had half the place cheering them on in the first half. That's something in an arena only a couple of hours away for Wisconsin fans.
The first half of the first half was a stunner for Wisconsin fans. It was well and truly - um - abysmal. Wait, that's not right. It was monumentally abysmal.
For Islander fans that had made the trip north and all the new found Islander fans, it was the heady stuff of dreams.
Wisconsin somehow managed to score only 19 points in the entire first half. Yeah...it was that bad.
Second half was all about Wisconsin though. Well, Wisconsin and the ref who called at least 1,000 fouls in the game. My god, talk about slowing down the pace of a game.
No matter how you slice it, it was a ton of fun to finally make it to a couple of NCAA tournament games.
There's still plenty of television watching to do too. I'm doing that right now in fact - and holy crap is Xavier playing well! This could be the upset of all upsets - the grand daddy of all upsets if you will. It's hard to keep typing here with that going on.
And, tomorrow I might just head back down to Chicago to watch round two. Still sort of up in the air on that one. It is tempting - the tickets are in my pocket.
Yeah...the call of leather on hardwood is hard to ignore this time of year.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Posted by Shawn at 12:42 PM