Wednesday, March 16, 2011

march madness?

I would not call myself a basketball fan. Perhaps this is a result of my upbringing, as I come from a state that lives and breathes football. Born in Kansas but raised in Nebraska, I'm a diehard Husker fan ... until March Madness rolls around. Then it's KU all the way! (And I'll readily admit that I cheer for KU because the Husker men's basketball program is ... rather pathetic. I just looked it up--the last time the Huskers made it to the NCAA tournament was 1998. And they've only been six times in their entire history ... but they did win the NIT once!)

There's just something special about March Madness. I don't watch basketball at all until the tournament begins, but then I can't get enough of it! I was bit by the MM bug in 1995, when I watched the UCLA Bruins win the National Championship. The fact that I still remember (a) the names Ed O'Bannon and Tyus Edney and (b) that the TV coverage of the event began with a montage of tournament moments set to "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" from the Lion King is perhaps pathetic, but it shows how much that game impacted me. (I couldn't tell you the name of any current collegiate basketball player.)

I fill out a bracket each year, but there's no science behind it. I have two guides that I follow (I wouldn't call them rules because I have broken them, but they're pretty constant): 1. Kansas will win it all. 2. Schools with cool-sounding names will survive the first round. Now, I'm no idiot--I know that most years Kansas won't win it all. But I'd sure like Kansas to win ... and if I pick them every year, then I'll be right in the years--like 2008--that they do pull it off. I also know that Gonzaga and Xavier probably won't go very far--though they have pulled off upsets in the past, and Xavier often makes it to the 2nd round--but I just love the names! For the other picks, I usually go with the higher-rated one in the first round, and after that it's kind of a crapshoot. Yes, I'm a girl about my picks.

This year, I've filled out four brackets, thanks to Facebook. I'll go with my family pool bracket as the official one, at least until the others start doing better :-) My final four pics are Duke, North Carolina, Kansas State, and Kansas, with Duke and Kansas in the final and (duh!) Kansas winning.

Who wins your bracket this year?

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