Sunday, April 4, 2010

Final Four: Hoosier Takes an Interest

It was one of those rare days when My Wife actually took a genuine interest in a game I was watching. My Wife is from Indiana and generally roots for Indiana teams when they play (except for Purdue). She went to IU in Bloomington but has gotten caught up in the Butler saga this year. Despite her general disdain for the sport, she knows more about basketball then she lets on, making well-informed complaints about the fact that no Bulldogs were under the basket as they were launching 3s. What a great story this Butler team has become - the best thing to happen to basketball in years.

I didn't watch too much of the second game and it's just as well. Yes, I've read everything about how Duke is actually a likeable team this year. I still can't stand to see them win - ever. I usually root for them against the Tar Heels but that's it.

The stage is set for a great final. The NCAA men's final became my favorite annual sporting event in the mid-to-late '80s when the game was dependably thrilling. While the Super Bowl was always a blowout, college basketball delivered up five consecutive classics: Villanova-Georgetown, Louisville-Duke, Indiana-Syracuse, Kansas-Oklahoma and Michigan-Seton Hall.

The '85 Villanova win is considered by many to be the greatest college basketball game ever played and it was magnificent - though heartbreaking from a Hoya fan perspective. I watched it under very unusual circumstances. I was in the sixth grade and our class was at Outdoor Ed, an annual retreat to the Maryland woodlands. A few of the obliging (and, in hindsight, misguided) male teachers let some of the boys sneak out of bed to watch the game with them. I recently asked a few old friends if they remembered that night and one of them said, "No, I don't remember that. I was too busy thinking about girls." I'm glad to see at least one of us had his priorities in order.

Rock Stars

The Capital One World Men's Curling Championship is underway in Italy. Here is the official site for those who wish to follow along. USA lost its opening game to Canada, 6-3.

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