When my friend Jimmy called me and suggested I complete a bracket and submit it to a pool he was in, I experienced a rare sense of deja vu, since we'd had this same conversation 4 years ago when I had my first taste of March Madness.
To my credit, in the 4 years since that first bracket, I have actually attended a basketball game. I didn't even attend a basketball game in high school. Yeah, weird, but true. My first ever college basketball game was the last game the Auburn Tigers played at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on March 3, 2010. I probably would not have gone to that game had it not been for my uncle, Wallace Tinker. You see, my uncle was on the Auburn Tigers team that played the first game at BEMC on January 11, 1969, when Auburn defeated LSU and Pistol Pete Maravich, 90-71. Uncle Wallace (#33) was the first to score points at BEMC, a 7-ft jumper from the right baseline. March 3rd, being the last game the Tigers would ever play at BEMC, my uncle was there, with many of his original team mates, to score the final points at BEMC. It was a family thing. My uncle Wallace is my mother's baby brother. I had to go.
To my honest surprise, I enjoyed my first roundball game. True, I didn't know a lot about how the game was played, what was happening, or why the last minute of the game was equivalent to 15 minutes in real life. I enjoyed the "up close and personal" aspect of the game...seeing the players faces...Aubie waving his fingers in front of my face. Following the game, when my uncle stepped onto the court, I found myself thinking "this is a walk to remember!" As Uncle Wallace stepped up to the exact spot where he'd scored the first points 42 years ago, I had goosebumps up and down my arms and tears in my eyes. I was so proud when Uncle Wallace nailed it, scoring the final points, on the first shot! Amazing!
So, when asked this year to complete a bracket, I didn't have much time to research the teams, etc. I think I spent about 6 hours poring over stats, W-L records, FT %, rebound margins, speed vs size...until about midnight. Seriously! I didn't want to be the ditzy brunette. I had to fax my bracket the next morning so it was a last minute cram session reminiscent of final exams in college. ;-/
Every girl loves to dance. I suppose I'm no exception to the rule, and now I find myself enjoying "the Big Dance" and, yes, I'll even admit it.....I'm afflicted with March Madness. What else could make me watch basketball all day long? I guess it's a good thing that this week has been Spring Break. To be honest, for Spring Break it's been a sucky one here...drizzly, rainy, cloudy....you get the picture? If it were otherwise I doubt I'd have succumbed to this yearly insanity that so many are afflicted with. I never understood it until now.
How am I doing in my bracket? Well I filled out several on ESPN, one on the Rivals Yahoo page, and the ONE that I faxed to join the pool Jimmy invited me to join. At the time of this blog, in the ONE pool I've missed 4 of 14, which I guess is ok; I'm still not exactly sure how these pools work...point wise. No problem. I did this, #1 because Jimmy asked me to, #2 it's challenging me to learn about something new, and #3 just for the fun of it! It's gratifying that I picked Old Dominion and Murray State, both upsets.....but it's just as disappointing that I also picked Georgetown and Marquette, which both lost. :(
I'll update this after each Round is completed. Maybe some of you basketball know-it-alls can give me tips for next year! X-D
Gotta go watch the rest of the games.