Gorgeous. Weather that belongs to May, not March. Temperature at 9:30pm, 52°
When I was 13, I cried. Okay I cried all the time when I was 13. But one night, I cried during a basketball game, because I thought my beloved UConn Huskies were going to loose to Clemson in the sweet 16 round. I was so upset I had to call my dad at my uncle’s house and cry to him. And my poor dad had to watch the game while on the phone with his sobbing teen. Now of course – that was the night, of it’s late, it’s great, it’s TATE – and I remember the sound of my uncles yelling in the background, and the site of my brother jumping up and down on his bed. A couple of days later I would cry again as Duke would crush my dream of UConn being a national champion. I would also begin a life long hatred of Duke.
10 years later, I would finally get to watch UConn beat Duke — in that national championship game. When I tell you, that after the birth of my children, it was next greatest night of my life – I’m being completely serious.
This tournament beats all other sports match-ups. Why? Because of the skill, the intensity, the rapid succession of games on a Thursday? No. It is the best because there is always an underdog to cheer for. Just now, UW beat Marquette, though Marquette came in the better team. I know that often it’s hard to look over the glossy exterior of sports, and the sex, and the self-important, entitled, juicing, morons — but in college bball – it’s easy to find heart.
It’s in those kids with elbows locked on the bench. Here they lost half their games this season but in a piddly little conference tourney, they managed a W – probably on some lovely buzzer-beater fade-away. And that’s all they need, a few wins in a row, to bring them into it all , and hand them a national audience, and a whole new set of fans. Like some frazzled mama with a beer in her hand, up too late on a Thursday, in a town they’ve never heard of, cheering for them, because she can tell, they’ve got heart.