I know it’s March because the wind is blowing hard and will be doing so all week; and because I have an empty NCAA Tournament bracket awaiting me. Not much I can do about the wind, but I will get my bracket filled out by the tipoff of the first play in game. Then, I will watch, wait and cross out my mistakes. Soon, my pristine bracket will be covered with the red ink of faulty prognosis.
As you may have guessed by the title of this post, I am an alumna of the University of Kansas. Being glued to the television much of March is my legacy. I wasn’t always such a devoted fan. Maybe I was just a clueless one. I attended KU in the late 60’s and early 70s. I don’t remember basketball being such a huge deal. It must have been important on campus, because KU was very good then. KU has been very good most of the time since then. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I remember attending only a few games while a student. I certainly don’t remember it being one of the overarching experiences of many students’ lives.
Perhaps reality lies somewhere between my fading memory and the craziness that takes place on college campuses today. I can’t imagine camping out to get tickets, donning face paint, white outs, black outs, Dick Vitale, ESPN Game Day broadcasts and Final Four tickets averaging a $1000 or more. Sports were a big deal, but they weren’t big business, yet.
I really hope KU does win the tournament. They’ve been playing well lately. Seems like they have a good chance this year, except for a couple of things. These are young men playing. They have young men’s emotions and inconsistencies. This is true for every team. The other factor every team has to deal with is parity. Teams are extremely evenly matched this year. Adam Kilgore writing in the Washington Post says that the “Best Team in Basketball is Nobody”.
I guess that means that we fans will fill out our brackets and wait and watch. I will hope to hear “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk KU” chanted on the last night of the tournament.
My aged but trusty “Beak ‘Em Hawks shirt.