I think it’s time to explain why I follow certain teams at tournament time. The Big Ten and Big 12 teams are easy to explain – I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life and these are the teams I know. As for my “teams of interest”, the reasons I follow them are various:
Northern Iowa – they’re from Iowa! That’s why I follow them. Go Panthers!
Bradley and Southern Illinois – they’re in the Missouri Valley Conference with Northern Iowa, and each school is located near one of my siblings. Bradley is in Peoria, IL near my older-older brother Bob, and SIU is in Carbondale, IL, just down the interstate from my sister Kathy.
Arizona – their coach is the great, talented Lute Olsen, a man I’ve watched coach for years. He was, at one time, coach of the University of Iowa basketball team, and the only coach to take the Hawkeyes to the Final Four. I’ve always felt that the Athletic Director who fired him (can’t remember the AD’s name) gave Olsen the shaft. I also think that, for an older gentleman, Lute Olsen is hot. Not quite as handsome as my husband, but definitely quite good looking.
Gonzaga – I can’t help it, I just like the name, and also the fact that they’ve risen from being a Cinderella team to being a basketball powerhouse. Gonzaga – the name just rolls off the tongue.
Iowa’s Boys’ High School Tournament is also going on this week. Our school, Benton Community, didn’t go, which is just as well because the dreaded Tournament Snowstorm is approaching (we get a snow or ice storm every year during either the girls’ or boys’ tournament) and I’d rather not be on the interstate headed for Des Moines right now. What I need to do is go help Boo-Boo with her homework. But before I go, I must say…
(I hope my relatives appreciate how hard it is for an ISU grad to say that!!)