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Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Sacred National Holiday

In bars all across the country, people will be enjoying what I consider to be one of the three or four most important holidays of the year. I speak, of course, of the NCAA college basketball tournament (philistines call it "March Madness.") Those who partake of the sacred rite might remember when NC State defeated Phi Slamma Jamma--and our beloved Clyde Drexler--or when Villanova shot 123% en route to beating the titanic Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown Hoyas. Or perhaps they recall an acne-splashed, floppy-haired point guard from Santa Clara defeat the mighty Arizona Wildcats. (It was Steve Nash, and they played hack-a-shaq with the wrong kid. He kept draining free-throw after free throw and number 15 beat number 2.) Or Christian Laettner and the perfect game or the Flintstones, or any of a 100 other amazing storylines.

Today we've already witnessed Morehead State (13) defeat Louisville (4) on a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

Princeton, another 14 seed, is still in the game against #4 Kentucky. Whether they win or not, there will be more upsets, more joy, more fun. Of course, the world awaits the 4:30 tip-off of the Wisconsin Badgers as well. Some teams transcend a tournament.

Oh, I guess it's also St. Patrick's Day, too. I just hope the yahoos stick with theme pubs and stay out of the way of serious fans. I will be at an undisclosed location in the NE to watch the Badgers.

Update: This time the buzzer-beater favored the four seed. Kentucky survives a big scare.

Update 2: A grateful nation delighted to the play of the Wisconsin Badgers, despite mild feelings of compassion for the hardy men of Belmont. In the tourney, all wins are kissed by melancholy. Victory by the Zags further compounded feelings of well-being. My brackets are, as usual, trailing early, but the inevitable Kansas-UConn final will confirm my overall sense of good judgment.


  1. Louisville deserved to lose today! They failed to recognize the situation at the end. With a two point lead and time winding down, they should have fouled Demonte Harper before a shot was attempted. That would have resulted in a one-and-one, and the game most likely would have gone into overtime at the worst.

  2. Here, Here.

    The first day of the tournament should be a national holiday without question.

    I ended up at a "sports bar" yesterday that was trying to take adavantage of St. Patricks day by pushing car bombs, killlians, etc. Some green cladden revelers showed up to party, but they kept getting told to get out of the way of TV's. It was a battle of holidays, and the true one prevailed.