Friday, March 29, 2013

Maddening March Madness

If you follow college basketball, you know that we're now in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament. Usually, I am following the games with much excitement. Matt and I have a great time filling out our brackets and cheering both for the teams we love and whatever team whose win would put us ahead of the other in our family pool.

Ten days or so ago, we were all geared up. Our fridge was stocked with pizza and beer. Our pantry had plenty of chips on the shelf and three tournament brackets taped to the door. Matt's was filled out with the help of insight from Sports Center, regular season stats, and a dash of team loyalty. I use my gut and a little more loyalty (which often beats Matt's carefully-researched picks, nonetheless). Kate uses an even gutsier gut, which frequently chooses 16-seed teams to beat number ones, and a number of 15-2 upsets. She's among the few Americans to have correctly picked #14 Harvard's win over #3 New Mexico, as well as Florida Gulf Coast's Cinderella run. Amazing.

And now it's all blown to bits.

Kentucky (my family's team) didn't even make the tournament this year, despite winning it all last year. Then Memphis (Matt's family's team) lost in the first round and Butler—Matt's alma mater and all of our choice to win it all—lost in the second round. So I don't really care anymore, but I'm very bummed to not be caring, if that makes any sense.

All three of us have lost three of our Final Four picks. I guess I'll be rooting for Kansas, since that's the one I have remaining. Matt and Kate have Louisville and Duke, respectively, both of which we collectively despise. (Louisville is enemy of both UK and Memphis. Matt's mom was alarmed when she learned Matt was dating a Louisvillian, until she learned I'm from a family of Wildcats, not Cardinals. And Duke is evil.)

We're a lot more focused on Holy Week and Easter festivities this weekend anyway, so it's just as well that basketball is off my radar.

I hope you all have a very happy Easter, made more meaningful by some reflection on Christ's crucifixion today. . . and if your team is still in the tourney, I hope you're happy with that as well (grumble, grumble).

If you made it to the end of this post, you must be a sports fan, so I'll mention something I forgot to when announcing my virtual Thirty-One party the other day: Thirty-One has a collegiate line! So if you or someone you buy gifts for is a college sports fan, a thermal tote or game day bag with their favorite team's colors and logo would be perfect! Check it out and remember to place your order by Monday at noon. Go team!

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