Yeah, I love college basketball in March. Something about a national tournament, a collection of Cinderellas, and 24/7 television coverage.
Friday night, Norfolk State had one of the great upsets in tournament history, or at least for 3 hours, when they defeated #2 Missouri. I had signed up to volunteer at the Providence Elementary Fun Fair, so I had to rely on my 7th grade daughter for texted updates, which went as follows:
“Who’s winning Mo-Norfolk game?”
“It’s really exciting.”
“Yes, but who’s winning?”
“Is it final?”
Anyway, we got the result. Unfortunately, the Spartans couldn’t continue the momentum today against the Florida Gators (who also crushed UVA in the first round — thereby proving roundball dominance over the Old Dominion).
Of course, you’ve got to mention the VCU Rams and Shaka Smart, who won their first round game over Wichita State (Did anyone not pick that upset?), but then lost a heart-breaker to Indiana when a last-second trey went awry.
No worries. March madness isn’t about winning it all. Because only one team does. Nor is it about players preparing for the NBA, because most these guys won’t make it. And it’s not about John Calipari winning his first title — if he ever does — because nobody is watching for that.
It’s about student-athletes laboring in obscurity for months, if not years, then getting the one shining moment in the national spotlight.