Sunday, March 23, 2014

March Madness: Do you have it?

It seems that everywhere we go we see people in college team sweatshirts these days.  We just left Giant Eagle and the cashier was wearing his Kentucky blue sweatshirt. Not surprisingly, UK is playing vs Wichita State right now in March Madness.

Why madness? This year mostly because the underdogs seem to be breaking most brackets.  After Thursday's Day 1 of the tournament had finished, Yahoo reported that by Friday morning only 1% of the brackets still had a chance of picking each game perfectly.

Did you know that Warren Buffett  put up a $1 Billion prize for the person who picked every winner correctly?  Although 16 people were still in the running Friday morning by Saturday the number was 0. Yes, Mr. Buffett's money is safe for another year thanks to Dayton, Harvard, Mercer and Stanford to name a few. Mercer defeating Duke-- unbelievable.

We love college basketball and come from a family of Ohio State graduates so the Buckeyes are our team.  Unfortunately they lost their first game to Dayton this year and I can tell you there is a big difference watching the tournament when your team is out from when your team is still in.

We have been lucky enough in some years to follow the Bucks during the tourney to Cleveland OH, Pittsburgh, PA, Detroit, MI, and Lexington, KY.  The tourney sites are so much fun with rival fans staking out a bar/restaurant with flags in school colors near the arena.  The local Alumni Association usually arranges for the school's pep band and cheerleaders to visit the bar before the contest and hearing the fight song in a small space is always invigorating.  My daughter and son-in-law both played in Ohio State pep bands at rallies in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and it was a thrill both for the fans and the family-- great memories we will always cherish.

But this year, despite the Buckeyes being out, we are still intently watching the games.  Did you fill out a bracket?  I didn't this year, but we do watch at least parts of most of the games mostly because we enjoy college basketball so much.  And yes, I still find myself rooting for certain teams although I have no affiliation at all with that team or school.  And I will root for ANY team playing Michigan.  You have to be a true Buckeye to understand.

I always have questions that pop in my head during the game about the teams, none of which is related at all to basketball.  For example, where is Creighton?  I googled it out of curiosity?  Omaha, NE.
How about Mercer?

What about those mascots?  We know the Buckeyes and all of the other Big Ten schools but after that I struggle.  How about you?  Can you name the mascot of Virginia? How about Stephen Austin? Villanova?

I have a very good friend in California with whom we would always play a challenging March Madness game.  Let's see how good you are with it.

Most mascots end in -S.  For example, Buckeyes, Hawkeyes, Volunteers, Cardinals, Jayhawks, and so on.

How many Div I teams can you name whose mascot does not end in -S?  What about teams in March Madness?

I'll get you started: The Cardinal of Stanford.  Now you are on your own.  Good luck. After all, when your team is not playing, there is lots of other ways to still enjoy March Madness!


  1. I'm a fan of the Virginia Cavaliers where we cheer "Go Hoos!!" Where in Virginia? Charlottesville. What's so special about UVA? The school was created by Thomas Jeffereson, our country's 3rd President who designed a University on the grounds called The Lawn and is a Unisco Heritage Site. If you haven't visited there yet, I recommend it. Oh, and their basketball team is great this year!! I'm watching to watch them at 8:45pm tonight!! As a UVA alum, I totally get your love of March Madness!! My fingers are crossed that my team keeps winning but like you, I'll keep watching. It is a fun tournament to watch!

  2. Sally, Thank you for your detailed reply. We are watching the UVA game now. We were able to see Charlottesville and some of UVA when we took our daughter to Monticello. I remember how beautiful the buildings were. We also have a friend who graduated from UVA. That UK-Witchita State game was such a thrilled. Since we have no favorite in your game we will now root for UVA. When you are a a top seed you deserve to go to the Sweet 16. We have followed OSU all the way to the title game and it is such a thrill. Good luck!

  3. I love March Madness and just school spirit in general! I was actually hoping to see the Sun Devils play in Milwaukee yesterday but then they lost at the buzzer to Texas on Thursday. Talk about a heartbreaker!

    1. Michelle, I feel your pain. We gave up a three-pointer and then missed a layup with time expiring to lost at the buzzer. That's why it is Madness! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love March Madness. My mom and I watched a lot of the games this weekend!

    1. Thanks, Carol. We watched a lot of games or parts of games over the weekend. Still plotting how we will watch the Sweet Sixteen and what games not to miss. Just too much fun! Thanks for sharing.


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