Post by John Taylor
What month is it? I SAID, WHAT MONTH IS IT?! Guess what, it is March, in case you missed that memo. Now, why is March significant? Is it the warmer weather? Yes, yes it is. Is it the middle of the semester? Yes, this is also true. But the real reason, and here in the Great State of North Carolina, the only month you live for, is March Madness. Tournament Time. The Big Dance. Cinderellas, upsets, major wins, agony, defeat, happiness, love for the game. How ever you want to describe March, while living in the Heartland of ACC Country, March is what you live for. Live for basketball, for hatred of bitter rivals, for memories on seasons past and new memories to be formed. I love this time of year. I have never loved this time of year because my team will do well; I have always loved the tournament for everything about it.
Last year was super sweet because I witnessed a team resurge a program and make it back to the tournament for the first time since I was in middle school. Haha get it? Super sweet, since the Pack made it to the Sweet Sixteen? This is the first best time of the year, every year.
So what does March present for us? Starting Thursday, the tournament that matters most around here will begin, the ACC Tourney. NC State opens play Thursday against Virginia Tech. The Big East Tournament begins Tuesday, since they have about 8 rounds of basketball to play to determine a champion. Conference Tournaments are cool and all, but you and I both know that the Big Dance is what matters. Especially picking your brackets so you can beat all of your friends and rub it in their faces. Or maybe that’s just me?
Picking brackets: This can be one of the most nerve-wracking, yet extremely rewarding, gambling experiences of your young, or old life. If anything, you play for the thrill of your friends losing faith in humanity as you picked an upset correctly and your friends didn’t. I had a loss of faith in humanity experience last year. I watched Missouri a decent amount last year and I knew they were a really good team as I watched them beat some very good teams. Then steps in Norfolk State. In the bracket I turned in, I picked the Tigers to go deep. We’re talking final four. Oh yeah, we are talking National Champions. I picked Mizzou to win it all in one bracket. Imagine my angst when I watch Norfolk State beat the Tigers like a red-headed step child. The final score was only a two point deficit, but it felt like 20 as I watched my bracket chances dissolve in forty minutes. Luckily, I only picked the Blue Devils to make it to the second round, so when they lost to Lehigh, I didn’t fret that much. How do you decide who will win? My roommate has a complicated formula that almost guarantees the first round to be correct, but he doesn’t trust it after the second round. Some of my friends decide between colors or cooler mascots, you wouldn’t believe how many games they get right, and how much I hate them for it. I will not be giving out any of my secrets to winning the big time bracket (I picked the elite 8, final four and national championship completely correct one year, get at me), I just wanted to show how excited I am for the tournament. Go Pack!