Northern Iowa’s Wes Washpun
For any sports fan the NCAA tournament is everything you dream of–upsets, close games and buzzer beaters. But there is something special about rooting so hard for one team to win and then just two days later, rooting so hard against that same team because a win or loss impacts your bracket. Or, thinking you picked the Cinderella story only for their star player to break his hand the day before their first game (my Cal pick this year).
On Thursday afternoon I was watching the Purdue vs Arkansas Little Rock game when AJ Hammons took over the game and had three straight buckets to put the boilmakers up 14. There was about 9 minutes left in the game and at that point so I started my homework thinking the game was over. About 15 minutes later I got a call from my Dad that Little Rock cut the lead to 4 with about a minute and a half left, so I immediately turned on the game. The two teams go back and forth and Little Rock gets the ball back down three with about 15 seconds left, and when Josh Haggins pulled that three from well beyond NBA range you just had feeling it was going in because it was – March Madness. And as everyone knows, Haggins hit the shot and Little Rock won in 2OT, but the point is that in the NCAA tournament nothing is over until the buzzer sounds.
My guess is that at a certain point in the tournament, 90% of people stop stressing about their busted bracket (because we all know 90% of brackets are busted after the first weekend) and just enjoy the tournament. While watching the MTSU vs MSU game with about 10 minutes left I started rooting for MTSU, despite having MSU cutting down the nets one of my brackets. But I jumped on the MTSU bandwagon because I wanted to root and witness greatness and history.
Also, lets not forget the back to back crazy finishes on Friday night in the UNI vs Texas game and the St. Joes vs Cincinnati game. The highs and lows of this tournament make it special–for Texas to get a bucket to tie the game but then lose on a half court buzzer beater that banked off the back board and St. Joes hitting a three to go up 2, but then Cincinnati gets what they thought was a game tying dunk, only to find that it was a tenth of a second late–only in March!
From game winners, to heartbreaking losses, to players stepping up and last but not least the upsets. The person who came up with the term “March Madness” didn’t really have to be very creative, just logical.
So tune in tonight and watch the madness continue–there really is nothing better.