Let the madness begin!

We are on the eve of March Madness and for basketball junkies it doesn’t get any better than this.  Of course the NCAA gave us a couple of extra play-in games before the official start on Thursday to wet our appetite, but the real fun begins tomorrow at 9:15 AM for those of us on the West coast.  To top it all off it is also St. Patrick’s Day, which seems like something that only happens once every 75 years like Halley’s Comet (it’s actually every 7 years).  I guess this is why the bracket selection committee deemed it unfair to let Notre Dame play on Thursday.  It may be too much for the Irish fans to handle all in one day. 

Over the next 4 days, we will have 48 games to watch with 12 next week.   This is by far one of the greatest times of the year for sports fans.  Even if you are not a diehard basketball fan, with the tourney bracket office pools everyone becomes hoops crazy.  This is the ultimate one and done tournament with the David & Goliath’s and Cinderella stories.  School bands, cheerleaders, Gus Johnson and highlights heaven.  Where some unknown 19 year old from Belmont (can you guess where Belmont is?) hits a 3 point buzzer beater to upset Wisconsin and my favorite team becomes anyone who is playing Duke.

Speaking of Duke, ESPN’s special on the Fab 5 from Michigan aired this past Sunday receiving the networks best rating (2.1) for a documentary to date.  As a loyal Wolverine fan (even though I went to U.C. Riverside) it brought back a wave of fond memories followed by nausea and heartbreak.   They shared some epic battles against the Blue Devils including the championship game with five starting freshman in 1992.  The real stab in the heart came the following year with the infamous “time out” game against UNC for the NCAA title.  To this day it still stings every time I think about it.  To pour salt on the wounds, the Fab 5’s entire time at Michigan is erased from the record books because of NCAA violations.  Michigan made it to the big dance this year for only the second time in 13 years.  With a first round win over Tennessee, they will most likely get a chance to play the number 1 seeded Duke.  It will probably be ugly for the Wolverines, but it’s a lot better than watching them in the NIT again.  Michigan’s former head coach Steve Fisher will also get a shot at redemption with his #2 seeded SDSU Aztecs.  Enjoy the madness!