My NCAA picks

By the time you read this on Friday, two of the most exciting days in sports will be upon us.
As I write this on Thursday afternoon, Memphis and Cal-Northridge are locked in a fierce first-round battle in the NCAA Men's basketball tournament (Cal-Northridge eventually lost, but managed to make Memphis look like a possible first-round loser)
As you've guessed, March Madness has arrived. 65 teams in one big basketball tournament, vying for a championship. While many people I know view the college football bowl season as the most exciting in sports, I told Mark Burke on his Sports M.D. podcast this week that I'd put the basketball tournament second to only the World Cup of Soccer when it comes to sheer excitement.
What makes the college basketball tournament so much fun is that, technically, every NCAA division 1 school has a chance to win the championship. While the Bowl Championship Series, that hideous monster that college football uses, would lock out a Sun Belt school from its championship game, the basketball tournament gives it the opportunity to prove itself.
Which means that, if my alma mater Arkansas State could actually get its act together on the basketball court, they could do what George Mason did in 2006: get to the Final Four when nobody expects them to.
The last time Arkansas State reached the men's tournament, it lost to Utah 80--58 10 years ago. And after this season's 13-16 showing, it's doubtful my Red Wolves will make a strong tournament showing anytime soon though.
Basketball wasn't all doom and gloom when I was in college though.
In 2005, as a junior in Jonesboro, I had the joy of sitting in the third row of the student section to witness ASU defeat Arkansas 98-84. Words cannot describe the chorus of boos given to the visiting Hogs, and my inability to describe emotion extends to the end of the game, when I got to rush the court along with the entire student section.
The game was especially meaningful (probably the most meaningful moment in college, including graduation), given Arkansas' cowardly stance against playing in-state schools. It's a fun college basketball memory that will live with me forever.
I envy the students at other colleges who get to attend these first- and second-round tournament games, because that excitement is something I've witnessed firsthand. Getting to support your school in a win-or-go-home tournament is more than just a sporting event: it's a lifetime's worth of memories packed into 40 minutes of basketball.
It's something that will keep me glued to the television most of the weekend.
Except for Saturday night, that is. That's when the greatest basketball team of all time, the NBA's Boston Celtics, make their only trip of the season to Memphis. And I'll be able to soak it in, Dennis Johnson jersey and all, from the upper deck.
Another great basketball memory awaits.
Oh, and as far as final four picks, it's North Carolina, Duke, Memphis and Michigan State in the final four. UNC defeats Memphis in the championship round.


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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

    If you're looking for gaming-centered posts, check out catholicvideogamers.blogspot.com. If you seek the blog I keep with my fiance, check out thecatholiclovebirds.blogspot.com

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