Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ok, So I've Had Better First Weekends Than That

I'm guessing when I said last week that this was by far the least research I had ever done before filling out my NCAA bracket that I must not have been lying. The first four days of the Tournament this year were outlandishly exciting, but also, uh, not what I predicted. On the first day alone I lost three teams from my sweet sixteen, one from my Elite Eight and wound up a mediocre 9-7. While that didn't inspire much confidence, at least my Final Four was still intact.

You know, until the second round, when my National Champion spit the bit against Butler on an utterly bizarre series of fouls in the games final seconds. But that's cool -- it's only the second year in a row that my eventual champion was sent packing in the round of 32.

Now don't get me wrong. Butler, obviously, has some experience, so I suppose in general, it's not really that crazy for them to be making another deep run in the NCAAs, but I have to be honest. I thought I'd do a wee bit better than this At this point my bracket is so shot that I have nothing to watch for except pure love of the game, which, really, is utterly silly.

Then again I'm still alive in my survivor pool, so at least there's that.

Of course, that I'm watching basketball at all after Northwestern's utterly bizarre loss in the NIT quarterfinals last night/this morning at Washington State, might just be a testament to my own intestinal fortitude. This was a game that featured a shockingly intense student crowd for an NIT game, the Wildcats doing something they've done maybe once in my life ever by rallying from a double-digit deficit to take a lead in the second half on the road, a potential walk-off foul after a game-tying goal tend in the final ten seconds and then someone missing both of those potential walk-off free throws which prompted this statement from me.

I then realized that if God was a Wildcat, Northwestern would have been to the NCAA Tournament once in the past seven and a half decades, making my statement patently ridiculous.

The Cats would go on to lose in an equally as bizarre overtime that nearly saw them get the ball back down 1 with 20 seconds left simply because the Washington State player lost his handle on the ball, before Alex Marcotullio missed not one but two three-pointers to tie the game at the final buzzer to end what is -- I'm not making this up -- the deepest postseason run Northwestern has ever had.

Seriously, why do I watch college basketball anymore? Or at least why Northwestern?

Oh, and the winning team had a player who had been suspended and had his suspension lifted within 12 hours.

Fun times.

So that's how college basketball has treated me in the past week, but fortunately I get the distraction of Aussie Rules Football finally being back this season after Carlton topped Richmond by 20 points this morning. Of course the season doesn't really start until Geelong has its first bounce tomorrow morning against St. Kilda, which I'm sure you're all waking up at 4:30 a.m. for.

Ok, I can sense that I'm losing all of you at this point. Perhaps it's time to go. Hopefully this weekend's basketball goes better than last.

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