Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


My 65 reasons to love March

This is my ?Anchorman? moment.

Iconic newscaster Ron Burgundy famously proclaimed that he wanted to shout his love for female co-worker Veronica Corningstone from a mountaintop, but he didn?t have a mountaintop ? he had a newsroom.

I feel the same way about the NCAA Tournament, and like Burgundy, I don?t have a mountaintop. Unfortunately, I don?t have a newsroom either.


Instead I have a 600 to 1,200-word column in a student newspaper.

The following is how I make do: 65 reasons I love March Madness.

(In no specific order)

1. The possibility the Badgers get a sunny draw and go to Anaheim and then Phoenix.

2. That it?s just as possible for the Badgers to go to Omaha ? and lose in the first round.

3. That Joe Lunardi has already upset every fan base across the country with his weekly Bracketology seedings.

4. That no matter what happens, somebody is going to make him eat crow.

5. Michael Beasley is going to be nationally televised.

6. Ditto for O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose.

7. Developing man-crushes on freshmen, Carmelo Anthony-style.

8. This is the one time of the year when it?s cool for guys to talk about Cinderella.

9. Watching Bobby Knight doing commentary and taking bets on how long it will take him to curse.

10. No matter what happens, I can count on Kansas and Duke to be upset early on.

11. Picking the Jayhawks and Blue Devils to go to the Final Four again anyway.

12. Using the phrase ?bracket-buster.?

13. Greg Gumbel?s dramatic reading of the bracket on ?Selection Sunday.? The guy should win an Emmy for it.

14. Using a yellow highlighter to mark wins and a blue one to mark losses on my brackets.

15. When there are more yellow lines than blue ones.

16. Never marking a win or a loss until the game is 100 percent over.

17. Skipping classes to watch the first- and second-round games, especially when the teacher does it, too.

18. Seeing clips of Bryce Drew, Christian Laettner and Jim Valvano run on an endless loop.

19. Praying that I grow another foot before my college eligibility runs out ? and actually believing it.

20. Having baseball?s Opening Day waiting at the end of the tournament like a long-lost friend.

21. No. 12 seeds over No. 5 seeds that live up to the hype.

22. Being right when the experts aren?t. (It did happen? once.)

23. Not knowing anyone that goes to the school that wins it all.

24. The first five minutes of the No. 1 vs. No. 16 games when it is a close game.

25. Thinking ?What if?? when it is still close in the last five minutes.

26. Thinking I know everything and actually knowing nothing.

27. Picking with my heart and not my head.

28. Boston College not getting a bid this year so I can avoid another heart-attack in the first round.

29. Explaining the difference between dark horses and sleepers.

30. Coach K inevitably playing one of his proteges, and the commentators making a huge deal out of it.

31. SEC cheerleaders. Also UCLA’s.

32. Watching mid-major coaches play for a job at a bigger school.

33. Rooting for the underdog, even when it means ruining my bracket.

34. Getting at least one team in the Final Four right, so I can live with myself during the other 11 months.

35. Correctly picking Florida as the national champion the last two years.

36. Florida not having much of a chance to make it a 3-peat this year.

37. Maybe picking Florida anyway?

38. Fans of losing teams crying on camera and knowing that there’s always next year.

39. 64 mascots and fight songs.

40. Facebook?s bracket application so I can see how random people I don?t really know are doing.

41. Losing to said random people because the tournament is so unpredictable.

42. The term ?Big Dance.?

43. The footwear terms: ?dancing shoes,? ?Cinderella?s slippers? and ?jumping out of his sneakers.?

44. Endless advertisements for whatever show CBS is pushing for this spring.

45. Even more advertisements for ?a tradition unlike any other.?

46. Gus Johnson.

47. Buzzer beaters and overtime.

48. Teams that play near home but lose anyway.

49. The NIT having some underrated and cool matchups.

50. Jumping on the Davidson bandwagon along with the rest of America.

51. My mom calling me, worried about how our bracket is doing in her office pool? after just one day of games.

52. Filling out three brackets that are only slightly different from each other.

53. Singing ?Rockin? in the NCAAs? in the shower, on my way to class and generally every time I have a free moment.

54. Frantically analyzing every matchup in the few days between the bracket?s release and the first game.

55. Watching the scores in the top right-hand corner more closely than I am the game that?s actually on.

56. Scenario generator.

57. Celebrity fans that aren?t really fans or celebrities.

58. Shots of players? parents. Especially Mr. Neitzel, Mr. Hansbrough and Mr. Ewing.

59. Rooting against my friends’ picks ? even when I picked the same teams.

60. Contributing to the $2.5 billion in illegal gambling across the nation by joining a $5 pool.

61. Debating whether a player has NBA potential, and seeing scouts in the stands wondering the same thing.

62. Growing a tournament beard even though I?m not playing in it. Not changing underwear either.

63. Using every superstition imaginable, and having none of them work.

64. ?One Shining Moment? playing at the end of it all.

And, as an added bonus, the play-in reason:

65. The fact that one team gets eliminated from the tournament before it even starts. That?s rough.

Mike is a sophomore majoring in political science. If you have a different reason why you love the NCAA Tournament he can be reached at [email protected].

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