DETROIT – It’s the greatest time of year in sports. I absolutely LOVE March Madness.
It starts with the conference tournaments, it rolls into the NCAA tournament and it ends with One Shining Moment. I admit, sometimes I tear up when watching that montage. Don’t tell anyone.
I love March basketball because it’s unpredictable. ANYTHING can happen and it often does. Who saw UMBC defeating Virginia last year? Answer: no one. A year ago today, March 16th, they became the first number-16 seed to defeat a number-one seed.
I love March basketball because it’s so darn fun. Who doesn’t like watching games in the middle of the day on a Thursday? Maybe you’re even at a bar or at home enjoying an adult beverage?!? That beats most other Thursdays in my book.
I love March basketball because of the stories and the emotion. The guy playing for his mom, or dad or family member who passed away? Or Sister Jean following Loyola on their incredible run? Pick a game, and there’s a good story. Pick any game and you see raw emotion coming from the bench, or from the coach, or from the guys on the court. Jordan Poole running around after his game-winning shot against Houston? That was fantastic! Juxtapose that with the shot of the Houston player on the court, head in hand, his season is was over.
I love March basketball because it brings people together. Listen, I know that’s pretty corny, but it’s true! People who don’t even know anything about basketball are making picks and filling out a bracket. They’re watching the games alongside everyone else. Those people have a vested interest now. The games and the brackets become a common interest. Which reminds me, I have to remember my CBS username and password to get back into my many pools. It’s a yearly struggle to remember what I used.
Last year’s tournament was pretty great. It was awesome following the Wolverines to San Antonio and the Final Four. My photographer, Norm, and I worked so hard to tell as many stories as we could. Too bad our last story wasn’t one talking about a Michigan National Title.
Well -- there’s always this year for Michigan, or Michigan State or the 66 other teams that will be picked to play in the greatest tournament and greatest time of year!
Buckle up, it’s tournament time!