Diary of a Soul Inflicted with March Madness #2

The Appeal of the Underdog.

Thursday, March 18th, 2:15 pm–I pick Villanova to go to the Final Four in what is considered my “official bracket.”  I enter different brackets in different contests.  So, why was I rooting for Robert Morris?  Why? Because it is so cool watching these little, out of nowhere school beat the “elite” teams.

You might think that this is about to make a hard left turn and I’m going to talk about David and Goliath.  Maybe that they inspire us to believe that we can do anything.  “Anything is possible if you believe.”  Uh, no.  I am officially on vacation and it is unlikely that you will get anything on cloften.com this week that you would call “significant content.”  (I know, I know.  How is that different?  I get it.)

I just don’t like the big teams from the big schools.  If you have ever won a championship, we don’t want you to win.  Not one game.  Go home.  The best part of the underdog win?  When the scrubby bench players lock arms on the bench during the freethrows and sway back and forth.  Do coaches recruit some players based on their ability to execute that well?

It’s hard to have too much animosity for Villanova, per se.  It’s not like it is Kansas, Duke or Kentucky.  Nonetheless, Robert Morris is a cool team to root for.  What is their mascot? TheCats? (dated reference) Scholars?  Is Robert Morris a cigarette brand? Did he sign the Declaration of Independence?  Is he the first architect to use the flying buttress?  I could look it up, but I don’t care.  It’s just cool.

I would like to formally apologize to the Robert Morris fan(s?) out there for writing this post too soon and jinxing it.  If it makes you feel any better, my final four picks are still in tact.

Diary of a Soul Inflicted with March Madness #1

This series (?) of posts will be what Simon would call indulgent nonsense.  Indulgent–only I care about what I’m writing.  Nonsense–just keep reading.

Thursday, March 18th, 9:30 am–For the 20th year, my brother and I are about to watch the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tourney together.  It is (almost) always the first weekend of the tourney.  Exceptions have been when we would have tickets to see games that were the second weekend, or once, wait for it, the Final Four itself.  Yes, I was there when Roy Williams broke his jinx and cut down the net for the first time in St. Louis.  In fact, Roy Williams coached teams are 6-0 in the tourney when I watch him live.  Twice w/ Kansas in STL, twice w/ UNC in STL and twice w/ UNC in Memphis.  Roy, if you’re listening and you ever make it back to the tourney again (hee hee) call me, I am available to be flown into your games and torturously watch you win.

Anywho, my brother and I have been doing this for quite a while and we love it.  We have several mini-traditions, IBC root beer, making fun of commercials, etc.

For me the most exciting part of the tourney is the anticipation leading up to it.  Right now my bracket is perfect.  By 2:00 it will destroyed and hope will have abandoned my house yet again.  My problem in the past is that I pick often what I want to happen.  I pick the Razorbacks to advance one round further than they do.  (Do you guys remember when the Razorbacks used to go to the tournament?  Those were great days.  UAPB over Duke!!!!!)  I pick teams I hate to get upset early.  It never happens and it is the double whammy.  Teams I hate win and my bracket is terrible.

This year I am hedging my bets.  (Not literal bets.  Settle down people).  I am picking teams I hate.  This way, either my bracket will do well or Kentucky, Duke and Kansas won’t.  I’m sure there is 3rd option out there somewhere.  We’ll see.  I’ll keep you (and by you I mean me and my mom.  Anyone else even still reading this?) updated.