Basketball is a wonderful thing. Each and every game has the potential for unforgettable moments, but maybe the best part about basketball is the little things. Not just the buzzer beaters, but the celebrations. Not just the legendary performances, but the sideline snacks.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you may have heard that 16-seed University of Maryland, Baltimore County upset the number 1 overall seed Virginia. Even if you were living under a rock, you still might have heard. It’s never happened before since the introduction of the 64-team format in 1985 (16-seeds were previously 0-135). Senior guard Jairus Lyles poured in a game-high 28 points while battling cramps. But during his one minute absence from the contest, TNT pictured Lyles stretching out while licking cheese & peanut butter crackers. What brand? Keebler? Austin? A question the media REFUSES TO ASK.
Perhaps the greatest part about all of sports is the individuals. The personalities. The man buns. The big-boned post players. The 98-year old Loyola Chicago chaplain, Sister Jean who predicted the 11-seed’s run to the Sweet 16 (although she has them losing before reaching the Elite 8). Individuals hoisting awful, contested, totally-not-open, bad-form, rushed, shots that somehow hit the bottom of the net followed by one of two celebrations: A) sprinting a figure-8 around the court until you run out of energy or your teammates tackle you (usually both) or B) immediately falling onto the floor and creating the most spectacular monkey pile.
Michigan’s Jordan Poole chose option A (the figure-8) upon delivering his game-winner over Houston in the closing seconds of Saturday night’s action. He also shot possibly the ugliest game-winner in tournament history.
Let’s list off a few more small things (good or bad) that March Madness gives us:
- little kids crying
- co-workers bragging about their perfect bracket after 3 games
- Syracuse and their stupid 2-3 zone
- chubby bigs (shout out to my man Brock Bertram from Buffalo)
- defeated players laying on the ground after a loss
- searching relentlessly for the truTv channel
- recovering from a 22-point deficit in the second half to take down the 2-seed Cincinatti
- stat graphics chronicling the enrollment size of one of the Cinderella teams
- bench players’ celebrations
- shooting a deep three instead of wasting the clock out like you’re supposed to do
- parents going nuts in the crowd
- parents crying in the crowd
- old ladies thanking the Lord for a game-winner
Bottom line is this, enjoy the little things about the big dance. Stop worrying about your bracket and worry about the things that matter in life like how awful it must have felt when that guy on Houston missed 3 out of 4 free throws in the final minute to lose the game for his team. Or worry about the UMBC bookstore which is struggling to keep team gear in stock. Or, lastly, worry about the fact that Villanova, Duke, or Kentucky will probably win another championship since all of this madness took out their competition. Oh, man, I just thought about that. Duke’s gonna win the whole thing. I hate sports, never mind.