As a sports fan, there are several events that I quite enjoy. The World Series, especially if the Red Sox are playing. The Superbowl is always required watching, preferably at a party with beer and some type of nachos. The Stanley Cup Finals are never missed in my household, and most of the time we even watch the rest of the playoffs. Even if it's some crap like Florida Panthers versus the Phoenix Coyotes, we would still watch.
But in all the hours of sports I watch in a year, there is nothing that gets me more excited than College Basketball. I know that people from Canada and Texas will never understand the excitement, but I'm a North Carolina girl. We didn't have a pro sports team at all until sometime in the 90's. But we are the center of the college basketball universe.
And the most revered, exciting day of that season is now upon us: Selection Sunday. There is nothing quite as exciting as sitting in front of the TV with my blank brackets in front of me, waiting to fill in all of the matchups. I know that in this day and age I could come upstairs 14 seconds after the selection show goes off and print them, but there's something satisfactory about filling in the seeds myself, almost as though I had a hand in those teams' fate in the tournament. A lot of the anticipation probably stems from being an N.C. State fan for all those years when we had to wait to find out if we were one of the lucky "bubble teams" to make it. Even knowing that we'll be lucky to play in the NIT tournament this year, watching the selection show is my top priority at 6PMish this evening.
This euphoria of mine will continue throughout this week as I research my teams, apply my "formula", and fill out my brackets. I have won one March Madness pool in my years of doing this: the very first one I entered. I picked teams for reasons such as "my drama teacher is from Louisville, I'll pick them". Or, "Tennessee Williams went to St. Louis University, that's my pick." I can imagine the redneck college guys wondering how I predicted the Weber St upset over UNC. (Easy, as a Wolfpacker, I hate UNC!) I know there will always be at least one 14 seed that upsets a 5, it's just picking the right one that's the challenge. The more I know about basketball, the less successful my brackets have been. Maybe since I've been much more involved with raising a child this season and have no clue about rankings other than Kansas and Kentucky are the top teams and the ACC is even weaker than normal, I might just have a shot this go around.
As Jacob grows up, I hope to include him in this love for basketball. We plan on letting him submit a bracket to our friendly pool. At only 6 months, we'll have to get creative about how he can pick his teams. Other families in our pool do the same, and it's really cute to see their brackets when complete. Of course, less cool is when my bracket is usurped by a 3 year old's.
I'll be trying to avoid that this season! Happy march madness!