We’re playing basketball!!!

This past Thursday, the NCAA tournament officially began.

It was the beginning of the BIG Dance which would lead to the categories we hear all the time like the sweet 16, the elite 8, the FINAL four and of course, the highly anticipated CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!

And each year, I’ve done my best to watch all the Carolina games and obviously the final match up. I’ve completed a bracket…but nothing serious — always a paper bracket with scribbles and eraser marks from indecisive decisions about who would move, who might upset and who you thought would be the next champion.

But this year was my first time filling out a bracket and competing in  an NCAA pool! My fellow co-workers and I made a group and started competing with our brackets and I must say I’m loving it!

The trash talk started the first day and hasn’t stopped, we’ve seen the upsets and the victories and it’s been fun joking about who’s in first and who’s in last (and yes, I’ll admit, I’m actually in last place). But it’s just this idea and concept of competing with others with our brackets and hopes for this team or that team to win has been a new experience for me but a really good one.

But my bracket (I did mention that I was in last place, right?)…well, let’s just say Friday was UPSET CITY! Yes, the night of upsets and bracket busters.

First, it was Norfolk State vs Mizzou — with Mizzou being the obvious choice to win. NOPE. Not on Friday. Norfolk State beat Mizzou and everyone around the country saw this bracket get trashed. Then the Michigan and Ohio upset.

But the upset and bracket buster that I will never forget and that will live on for the rest of the season was Duke (#2) vs. Lehigh (#15).  On Friday night, the number two seed Duke LOST (yes, lost) to the number 15 seed, Lehigh, a small private school in Pennsylvania. Now as a Tar Heel, a Duke loss is a Carolina win but this one was even sweeter because Duke lost in the FIRST round of the tournament!! Not the second or the third but the FIRST — the BIG DANCE! Duke didn’t make it out of the state of North Carolina!

Yes, my bracket took it’s third loss for the day but that last and final one was probably one of the best bracket busters to date!

But despite who’s lost and who’s won (by the way, UNC cruised through their first game – just saying!), the NCAA tournament reminds me why I LOVE college basketball. In this game, it’s not about the egos, the dollar signs, or the fame, it’s about playing the game called BASKETBALL — it’s about playing with heart, giving it all you got and showing people that no matter what your ranking is the score isn’t final until the last buzzer rings.

That is college basketball. And that is why I love that kind of play and competition. And this is why we love March Madness — it’s pure insanity — three upsets in one night, underdog teams beating the tough guys, and the powerhouses continuing to demand — nothing is set in stone, anything can change and every game has it’s own fire and spirit about it.

Yes, this is why March is so mad and I love that I’m able to catch more of the game since I’m working. No papers, projects or tests for me so when I get off, the basketball begins. Not a bad perk as a working young adult lol.

But if you’re not a fanatic for the hours and hours of basketball, just do me a favor and what the final for and the championship game — I promise you, it’ll change your life! (Well, maybe not totally but just a little).

Until next time (or the next game),

KG

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