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It’s March.

My Two Favorite Words in Sports.

NCAA Tournament by Kathryn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It’s March.


Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

My two favorite words in sports.

It’s March.

We are now less than a week from the unveiling of the NCAA Basketball tournament matchups for both the Men and Women. A total of 67 games will be played over the course of 21 days and forty-eight of those will be played over the course of four days!

We’re about to get bombarded about possible upsets, Cinderella’s, subplots and potential matchups down the line.

We will have Sixty-Seven losers and only one Champion. One loss and your whole season means nothing.

This is what we all call MARCH MADNESS.

FIVE REASONS WHY I AM EXCITED

THE SELECTION SUNDAY SHOW

The introduction to the tournament is music to my ears.

I waited with so much anticipation for the intro of this show since I was about five years old. This week is like clockwork for me from the agonizing daily wait, the early obsession with projections which I become sick with by Friday all culminates in the longest day ever until 6 pm on Sunday.

Whether your team is on the bubble or fighting for seeding we all await the brackets to be unveiled.

FILLING OUT YOUR BRACKETS

Once my heart was enlightened at age five, one of the only constants is filling out a tournament bracket. We are all involved, whether you are filing out 10 of them to attempt to win money (me), don’t know anything about the sport (My wife), or casually fill out a bracket for an office pool. (My whole office).

It’s the BEST cooler talk at work, involves serious agony if you must pick against your favorite team and it’s a chance to look like you know something when you steal an expert’s opinion as your own.

The bracket you take seriously—the one you slave, sweat and cry over—will be the first to fall apart. This is just the way of the world.

By some strange law of nature, the amount of time you spend fretting over a bracket has an inverse effect on how successful it will be. Accept that you have no idea what Wichita State will do. Embrace the fact that two of your Final Four picks will implode by the Sweet 16.

Bleacher Report

If you are new to this, Bleacher Report has some good advice on filing out multiple brackets.

It’s almost time folks.

The First Weekend

My favorite weekend in Sports.

Ninety-Six Hours of pure college basketball- as I said, forty-eight games in four days; 4 television stations involved and pure madness.

To give you an idea of the craziness: The first game of the day is ending while another one is tied with three minutes remaining, but also the #1 seed is down at the half to the #16 seed all the while the best matchup of the day is about to start. This happens FOUR TIMES a day!

These four days involve couch potato lockdown and a lot of pizza (At least for the serious fan).

You might even want to consider going to Buffalo Wild Wings as they are Building a Bed and Breakfast in a Sports Bar for March Madness!

The Cinderella Story

There’s nothing like the underdog 10-15 seed advancing through the tournament. It almost always begins with an upset; momentum then takes over and a lot of people “knew this would happen”.

The most recent example was the 2017 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. The Ramblers won their first three games by a combined four points and then dominated Kansas State to reach the Final Four.

The Ramblers eventually lost to Michigan. Their program, however, changed instantly- their coach, Porter Moser received multiple offers, players became household names, and a few received NBA contracts.

Most importantly, the legend of Sister Jean, the team’s 101-year old Chaplain, grew out of control.

This is what happens when a Cinderella team takes over March Madness.

YOUR FAVORITE TEAM HAS A SHOT

OK. I am a little emotional about this.

Unless you are a fan of Duke, Kansas, Kentucky or Michigan State– in a polite way, I hate you all- except Michigan State because you are Big Ten family.

My team is and will always be the Illinois Fighting Illini. As a young fan, my heart was broken in 2015 when the Illini lost in the final minute of the National Championship Game. This game haunted me for years.

Since this game, Illinois has been the definition of mediocrity with only 4 NCAA tournament appearances in 14 seasons, three different coaches and a difficult to handle 270-207 regular-season record. Year after year I grew more apathetic.

Until this season.

The Illini are 21-10 on the year and will make the tournament. They are led by Star Guard Ayo Dosunmu.

Stars are how you win in March and with a possible 5-8 seed, anything can happen in a winner-take-all tournament…

AND WE ARE ONLY FIVE DAYS AWAY

We must wait for Conference Tournament week, we need not be impatient, however, as this week is almost as good.

This is the week where disappointing teams steal NCAA Tournament bids; Bubble teams will sweat out the week praying against any potential upsets.

Thirty-Six automatic bids and Thirty-Two at large bids will be decided and put together in a bracket by Sunday evening.

IT’S TIME TO GO!!!

** I admit I was premature about the DePaul Blue Demons… **

Leave me a comment: What team is your favorite and how far are they going to advance in the tourney?

Tim is a grateful believer, husband to Kristin, Father to Isabelle living in Los Angeles as both an actor and Claims adjuster. He was born and grew up eight blocks from Wrigley Field and is a die hard Chicago fan (Especially Bears). He is incredibly grateful to The Turf for giving him a chance to pursue a passion of his.

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