When I was a younger person, I'd take vacation days today and tomorrow to celebrate the official start of the NCAA Tournament. Typically it was because UC was a higher seed with aspirations of getting past the second round (yeah, Huggs wasn't great in March). It was also because I didn't have a single responsibility in the world and taking vacation time just to sit on my ass and watch basketball seemed like a wise thing to do.
Fast forward to today and I'm sitting here at work typing this away. Yes, I am a slacker, but like most people today stuck at work, I will be sneaking a peek or 20 at the games going on while I'm here. I'm not as excited as I used to be. Sure it might be because UC isn't a high seed. Well, they are a high seed, but 10 is not a "high" seed you really want come March. But I'm still excited UC is in the tournament for the third year in a row. After Mick's first four years, I think it will be a long time before I take making the tournament for granted.
Here's where I differ from most people: I don't like all the upsets. Here's why. Call me an elitist or whatever, but I don't like the little guy. I don't like mid-major programs. During the regular season, they're fine. But come NCAA Tournament time my stance is that the sole purpose of this tournament is to find the NCAA CHAMPION. I want teams I've heard of, and perhaps even seen play a game or two, to win. Well, except Xavier, Kentucky, and Dook (yes, it is spelled correctly).
OK there's one caveat: upsets are ok if I picked them in my bracket, which as everyone would have you know is the most important part of "March Madness". Yes I guess I'm a stick in the mud when it comes to upsets. I'd just prefer to see "major" teams play for the title. I didn't watch either time Butler was in the finals. It just didn't excite me. But, if you tell me Indiana and Louisville are playing for the title, I'll watch. As much as I despise Louisville, I know they're a good team and have been at or near the top of the rankings all year. And as much as Tom Crean is a red-ass I know he's a great coach with NBA players on the roster. That would get me to watch.
I'm getting off track. The tournament starts today. I'm excited. I'm nervous for UC. I'm always nervous for UC. But, they could be home right now talking about moving to a watered down "Big East"...