Every March the United States of America is blessed with a series of occasions including Spring Break and St. Patty’s day. There is one occasion however that rises above all others. Enter, March Madness. March Madness is the tournament of 65 college basketball teams, in which team’s battle in a sudden death situation. This means that if a team loses, they are out—no excuses, no makeovers. The last team standing (and winning) is named the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One Champion. This year, I was asked to participate in a series with about 19 other teams.*
The way I ended up in this particular series is simple, there was a guy, I was the girl, and I was ready and eager to impress. Next thing I knew, there was a bet that may or may not have involved free dinner on Kirkwood and two sessions of designated driving for the winner of our series. Anyone who knows anything about sports and/or competing knows that how you prepare for the game is 80% of the battle. So two nights before the end of Spring Break the girls and I pulled an all-nighter. We studied plays, defense, offense, families, uniform colors, and ESPN critics until the sun began smiling upon our PCB kissed faces. Then, like true fans, we began the trash talking. Anyone who crossed our paths for the next 48 hours ended up in a battle of analogies that would put Woody Paige to shame. Our bracket quickly gained attention, hosting 42 points in the first round alone. Before we got to ahead of ourselves the girls and I decided to set two realistic goals for the series: beat all other females and beat Sal, the only person brave enough to engage in a debate of brackets.
By Thursday, March 22nd, at 11pm these girls sat 5/20 in our series. We slept well that night. We woke up; IU lost and was maybe destroyed by a tornado. But, we anticipated all of those things. What we didn’t anticipate was checking our series to find the devastation that lies below.
All four of our final four teams have been knocked out of the final four. There’s not much else to say Indiana. It was a long and gratifying run but, there’s no award for finishing 12/20. We plan to hold a short ceremony in Dunn Meadow tomorrow in remembrance of the 2012 bracket that treated us so well. Reception to follow.
Lesson learned: you gotta crawl, for ya ball.
*=I use the term “team” loosely as most people design a bracket – or system by which individuals organize and decide who will win- on their own.