Monday, March 10, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

San Diego is gonna pull it off. Only once since 1999 has Gonzaga not won the West Coast Conference tournament. So it's pretty exciting for the rest of the conference to see someone, anyone, else win. San Diego clearly needed this win more. Gonzaga is already a lock to get into the big dance.

It's pretty hard for me to rant at this time of the year. I love Championship Week. It is an excellent precursor to the greatest sporting event of them all: the NCAA Tournament. (Well, ask me in August and I'll tell you it's the US Open.) My dog is curled up next to me, I have a glass of wine, and I've got a host of meaningful basketball games to choose from on t.v. What's great about these tournaments is that this is the only experience of winning that these college players get. To them, merely getting to the Big Dance (which we in the power conferences take for granted) is the end. They put up banners in their gym just to commemorate the year they won their little conference's tournament, earning them the right to get trounced by a top-ranked national power.

Oh, there's a rant topic! The supposedly knowledgeable announcers just said that San Diego only had 5 seconds to get the ball over the half-court line after the ball had been knocked out of bounds. I could explain the whole situation in detail, but I won't bore you. Just take me at my word (I am always right, after all) when I say that the announcers were not correct. San Diego had 10 seconds to get the ball into the front court. A lot of basketball watchers do think the announcers were right because this particular scenario is not well understood. But I really think college basketball announcers, paid by ESPN for their expertise and insight into the game, probably ought to know the dang rules. (As I was typing this, San Diego finished the win. They better get their dancing shoes ready!)

That really wasn't that much of a rant, was it? I went to see my parents this weekend and treated them to a fine outburst, with many f-bombs. But I'm just not up to it tonight. It's harder to sustain any fury while typing. And while drinking wine. And while petting a sleeping pup.

There is still injustice in the world (and I don't just mean the way Cal was robbed against UCLA this weekend), but it's harder to focus on once I've been bitten by the Madness. I have to focus on getting all of my team shirts clean, painting my nails in team colors, and keeping track of brackets. Maybe this week I'll be able to write out a better articulated version of the rant my parents heard. But for now, I'm going to enjoy a few rant-free days.

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