NCAA: Madness...It Is Baaaccckkk

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There’s probably no better time than now….with the maddening weather many of us are experiencing----Miami to Montreal temps in a blink of an eye…..to usher in the tournament we know and love—at least at first, then the tournament begins and smiles are likely to become frowns in that same blink of an eye!

Vegas has weighed in and productivity has simultaneously jumped on the scale headed for an all but certain decline over the next few weeks.  The papers heard shuffling and keyboards clicking are not the sounds of the finishing touches on a quarterly report….more like, brackets being completed, torn up, redone, submitted before the deadline then tracked throughout the entire day and well into the night…for weeks!.....

The usual suspects find themselves as likely to remain in the conversation well after the field shrinks to single digits…..Villanova appears more than ready to defend their title…Kansas seldom ventures out of title talk…and Tobacco Road fans would love nothing better than  another showdown between Duke & North Carolina. 

Make no mistake about it…..regardless of seed, size of the school or its program’s history, every player on the court is there to get a job done!  A number twelve---Middle Tennessee….defeating a number five--Minnesota…may defy the laws of probability however, the word “upset” exists in the sports vernacular for a reason!

What defies logic though?  The Lady Terps finished the season number 4 nationally yet received not a number 1 nor even a 2….but 3 seed in the tournament. If miscalculating a basic arithmetic problem weren’t enough…the snafu put Maryland on a collision course with the Lady Huskies.  Of course somebody has to play UConn…trust, no onewants to play them until they absolutely have to play them!  If it is wise not to take the last place team lightly….it is genius not to rush in ill-prepared for a showdown with the for-ever first place team! 

On a bittersweet note….with the excitement of March Madness comes the realization of what a difference a year makes.  The struggle was real for my Sooners this season.  However, the good thing about inexperienced players is that under the tutelage of a great coach….they morph into developed players.  Selection Sunday 2018 will have us sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see who our first round opponent will be.

Alas, only thing that matters in the here and now IS the here and now. Add to that, I strive to make decisions from the mind versus heart….so as much as it hurts---the University of Kansas Jayhawks occupy the freestanding square in the middle of my bracket! 

It is my hope Old Man Winter has had his last hurrah.  In the meantime, enjoying the one and done hurrah of the NCAA tournaments never gets old….especially tracking the wins and losses of multiple brackets….fingers crossed that at least one will end up laminated with gold stars and a prize versus used as scratch paper for the following week’s grocery list!  

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