Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March Madness

A month.

I cannot believe it's been a whole month since my last post. I had no idea I'd not posted in that long. Times flies........

Of course, part of the reason is due to this addiction called March Madness. It all started for me a week ago tonight when my team (Oklahoma State University CowboysMen's Basketball Team) met their match against the Miami (Florida) University Hurricane. My team was eliminated their first game, to end an up and down season, on and off the court. However, I am still very proud of this particular team. They did dismantle the University Of Texas Longhorns at home in Stillwater, and took a number of teams to the last possession, only to lose. Last second loses to Gonzaga (on "neutral site" in Seattle, and Univ. Of Okla. in Norman, plus the end of the game loss to the University Of Kansas Jayhawks in the 2nd round of the Big Twelve Tournament in Dallas, were but a few of the last minute losses.

I spent much of last Thursday and Friday evenings watching the Opening Rounds of the NCAA Men's Tournament. I then vowed to due some house work over the weekend instead of watching basketball all day. So I felt quite an accomplishment, when I did get in a few hours of housework AFTER watching basketball all day both days. However, I did break from the Men's Tournament to watch the University Of Tulsa Women's Basketball team in the NCAA game upset the North Carolina State University team. I then followed on course, and Monday night watched The University Of Tulsa once again, as the women's team outplayed DePaul University most of the game, but came up short on the scoreboard in the last minute. Of course, the game was on DePaul's home court, but not sure that made the difference. TU just ran out of steam, but gained a lot of respect from me, and others, for the players, and for their 8-month pregnant classy coach.

Now on an "off-night" for the NCAA, I'm watching an NIT game (Univ. Of Louisville vs. Missouri State Univ). Tomorrow night the Sweet Sixteen will invade my realm, and this weekend the Elite Eight will control me. And of course, the following weekend of The Final Four, I'll be tuned in. It is addictive, especially with the reality that on any given day, any team in the tournament can win. There are always some upsets, and this year the field as a whole is more balanced, making for more interesting games than in some years past.

Although my OSU team did not get in the tournament, I did find myself routing for several underdogs, including Oral Roberts University. Though they are located in my home town, I am not a fan of the school. However, with Scott Sutton coaching there, who previously was a good player at OSU, I was glad to see them get into the tournament. They should also have been in the tournament in 2005, but due to a last minute upset, lost the conference tournament.

Personally, I wish the NCAA would re-tool the automatic entries to include ALL the regular season conference winners AND the conference tournament winners. If this means adding more teams to the field, and giving the top teams a bye the first round, then so be it. But for those "small" conference regular season winners, it is unjust for them to be locked out of the big tournament for losing their conference tournament. Conference tournament results rarely, if ever, knock a team from one of the "power" conferences out of the big tournament. How can the "small" conferences ever get to be a "power" conference, if their regular season champion gets upset in the conference tournament, and the conference gets an automatic bid issued to a team with a losing record, as it's only representative in the NCAA ???

Enough ranting........ halftime is over.......... back to the game............