March Maddness Basketball! Why is it so great?
The NCAA Tournament is crazy enough, but it all starts on selection Sunday. You get the pizza and drink ready. You and you family, or you and your buddies gather around the TV to see if this is the year that your college can make a run at a championship. On this day, many of the questions that you have will be answered. Did we make it in? What seed are we going to be? Who do we play the first round? CBS does a wonderful job of allowing you to see the excitement at all the colleges by taping live the reactions of several of the bubble teams. You get to see the elation when a team that thought all their dreams had been crushed gets an at large bid and a chance at winning the championship. You also get see the crushing blow of a team that was the last man out. This is one reason why the NCAA Tournament is so great, you never know what is going to happen.
Anything Can and Mostly will Happen!
A team of 18-22 year old boys play all year. They win almost thirty games and are considered the number one overall team in the tournament, and then it happens. They have a bad game and the team no one has heard up plays unbelievable. That is what makes the tournament so wildly exciting is that the better team doesn't always win. You may be better and you could beat the other team ninety-nine times out of one hundred, but that one time can and sometimes does happen in the tournament. A few examples of this can be seen in the games below:
(10) Davidson vs. (2) Georgetown: Who knew or had even heard of Stephen Curry? He became a house hold name over night when he dropped 30 points, 25 in the second half to lead under dog Davidson past one of the Big East's best Georgetown.
(7) West Virginia vs. (2) Wake Forest: Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the NBA and was a fantastic college play for the Demon Decans, but on this night back in 2005 he couldn't stop the Mountaineers. Mike Gansey and Kevin Pittsnogle had the game of their lives and were able to pull of this huge upset 111-105 in double overtime. Still one of the greatest games I have ever seen. (might be because I am a huge mountaineer fan)
(11) George Mason vs. (1) Connecticut: George Mason had already done plenty. They had huge wins over two storied programs Michigan State and UNC, but everyone knew that the UConn would destroy them. Wow, was everyone wrong! George Mason won this huge game and became known as one of the greatest Cinderella stories every. Know when a Mid-major team starts to have one of these crazy runs in the tournament we can help but wonder, "Is this team going to be the next George Mason?"
Filling Out the Bracket!
I don't know anyone who doesn't fill out a bracket. It is a right of passage in my household. My son is seven and filled out his first bracket last year and did fantastic. My wife and I have competed against each other for years. She is not a huge basketball fan. She usually chooses her teams based on the color of their uniforms or what their mascot is, but do not underestimate her she has a two year winning streak on me. Some people take it to the next level, they study harder for this then they would any test I know some who treat it like taking the SAT. They crunch the numbers and analyze the data, and then it is too funny to see all their hopes and dreams destroy by a number 13 seed that upset the team they had going to the championship. Bracketology, is fantastic and helps make the tournament as exciting as ever. Everyone loves filling out, even the President of the United States.
Player Intensity and Heart
When you watch the tournament you get to see players playing for the love of the game and the pride of their school. It is a joy to watch a player hit that buzzer beater and then dive on the floor or hug his coach in tears as he obtains the right to play one more game. Who could forget the performance made by Bryce Drew back in 1998 when Valparaiso upset Ole Miss in the first round. Drew had twenty-two points in the game and hit a three pointer at the buzzer to win it. We were given the pleasure of watching Drew and his coach/dad, Homer Drew, celebrate the victory. Now, not all stories in the NCAA tournament
The bottom line is the NCAA Basketball Tournament is the greatest display of everything sports is about. Competition, determination, grit, heart, the list could go on and on. I for one will be taking just a few days off of work when the tournament rolls around. I know I will not be the only one. March just wouldn't be the same if it didn't have the Madness!