It’s A Madness World


I love March. Not because Mother Nature can’t make up her mind on whether she wants to be warm or cold, wet or dry, rainy or snowy, windy or not. It’s because March is the only time of year that daytime TV is worth watching. It’s NCAA tournament time, and all the stupid CBS soap operas get pre-empted for basketball games. Yeehaw!

I printed out the tournament bracket, and then went through and hi-lighted all the teams I want to follow. The Big 10 conference teams (Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Iowa) are pink; the Big 12 conference teams (Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas and Oklahoma) are blue; teams of interest (Arizona, Southern Illinois, Gonzaga, Northern Iowa, and Cincinnati) are yellow. So far, of the 16 teams I’m following, two are gone – Texas and Iowa, and 8 haven’t even played yet. I know I’ll lose two more teams for sure, since Iowa State plays Minnesota and Northern Iowa plays Wisconsin, and they can’t all win. Of those four, I expect Northern Iowa to get whipped by Wisconsin, and I hope Iowa State can beat Minnesota. Go Cyclones!!

I’m not really all that upset that Iowa lost (sorry, Mom!) because they lost to Cincinnati, a “team of interest”. I like Cincinnati because my niece and her husband live there (in the town, not at the college) and my nephew-in-law is a campus minister there (the college, not the town). I follow the Big 10 (actually 11) and the Big 12 because they’re the two major conferences that cover my state. As for the rest of my teams of interest, I like Arizona because their coach is Lute Olsen, a first rate gentleman and former U of Iowa coach. Poor guy, he got a really raw deal when the old athletic director ran him out of town. I like Southern Illinois because they’re in Northern Iowa’s conference, and they’re good. I like Northern Iowa because they’re in Iowa, and I like Gonzaga because they have a weird name and they’re fun to cheer for. Go ‘Zags! or Bulldogs! Whatever they’re called, go Them!!

Anyway. The only thing I regret is not being able to watch the games with my Dad. It became kind of a ritual when I was in high school, and then in college (home on spring break) watching the games with Dad. We’d sit there in the living room (I usually had one of the farm cats on my lap) yelling at the teams and refs and analyzing what the teams were doing right and wrong. Dad loved to armchair coach teams, and I think he would have made a decent high school coach if he’d had the patience to become a teacher. But he made a better engineer than a teacher, so he armchair coached, which was always fun for me to watch. Plus I always learned something about basketball when he did. So I guess I can chalk up my love of college basketball to my Dad, who taught me everything I know about the game.

Thanks, Dad.


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