To paraphrase the late great Jackie Gleason, “How sweet 16 it is.” I don’t take in a bunch of college basketball during the regular season, but come tournament time, I am glued to the TV. Out of every sport that I faithfully follow, this is the only event that delivers on the promise of what they preach; which is sheer madness every year during the month of March.
I haven’t rooted consistently for a particular team since Beaver Smith played for St John’s – which was due to the fact that he dated a friend of a friend of mine. I know, it’s lame and girly, but he was cute and I was sixteen.
This season, I’m torn between Kentucky, for the obvious undefeated reasons, and Gonzaga, whom I fell in love with during their Cinderella run in ’99 when they reached the elite eight. UCLA tugs at my heartstrings a bit, proving they belong on the dance floor after two consecutive routs, but I don’t think they’ll skate past the Bulldogs in the next round.
The standouts who broke a lot of bracket hearts this weekend were NC State, who raged against the Villanova machine, and the mighty Spartans of Michigan who beat up on the number two seed, not so Cavalier, Virginians.
With plenty of tournament play remaining, seven of my sixteen are moving on and three of my final four are still intact. For someone who crammed for their bracket exams, I’m feeling pretty good about my picks. And if all the balls fall in their respective baskets, I’ll be sitting on six teams in the elite eight.