Monday, March 19, 2007

Worst March Madness weekend ever

First of all, I would like to thank my lovely wife for writing that post for me on Thursday or Friday or whatever it was. Usually, I spend my March Madness/St. Patrick's Day weekend the way it is supposed to be spent: shuttling back and forth between bars and couches in a beery haze. But for this one, I ended up in sunny Los Angeles for a professional conference. It's so thoughtful of them to schedule something over the weekend. You know - so my work week is not disrupted! It's like a gift.

Go Bruins. Oh, and Tupac is now the best rapper.
You ain't got no love for Death Row? And the West?

The upshot of all this is that my access to the Internet, the games, free time, and alcohol were all severely limited. The destination could have been worse - A LOT worse. But nevertheless, I think I now know how those people in those third-world countries feel. And the answer is, they feel VERY similar to the way I feel right now. All right.

With that said, I still had a chance to watch some games and collect some thoughts that I will now regurgitate in bullet-style fashion. Without further ado:

  • Same old Terps. They did a nice if uninspiring job against Davidson, but couldn't execute when it really mattered against a more poised Butler squad. That ball bouncing impotently off of Mike Jones' hands with 0.5 seconds left summed up the entire last three seasons for me. They had some unlucky breaks, and I won't forget their awesome run to get into the tourney, and this team was definitely better than last year's. But what can I say -- it's time to turn the page.

  • This year's tourney featured my and my wife's alma mater (Maryland), my dad's alma mater (Virginia Tech) my sister's alma mater (the exciting VCU) and my brother's current school (Old Dominion), plus a school in a town we all lived in for several years growing up (Texas A&M). (My mother went to Radford, so she doesn't count.) I thought that warranted mentioning.

  • The ACC did a great job of representing itself in this year's tournament. And by "representing," I mean "puking on."

  • Texas A&M is nails. Not much more to say about Acie Law, but Dominque Kirk is nice, too. He's the kind of player Maryland could use. Smooth, but not soft. Repeat that with me, Gary Williams. Smooth, but not soft. Smooth, but NOT SOFT. Back, and to the left.

  • Being on the West Coast, I had a chance to watch a lot more UCLA this weekend than I did during the regular season back East. And they're a much better team than I thought. Afflalo and Mbah a Whatevere Yinka Dare are both very strong players. I hate it when some basketball apologist says a low-scoring crap fest was a "defensive battle," but that Indiana-Bruin game really was a great one. I'm glad I have them going to the Elite Eight in my bracket, losing to my predicted champion Kansas.

  • Speaking of brackets, I'm actually in pretty decent shape. Of course, all my teams will lose now that I say that, but it's still nice. I predicted Vandy's Sweet 16 berth, and came within three points of correctly predicting a similar run for VCU. My final four is Kansas, Ohio State, Florida, and Georgetown, with the Jayhawks edging the Buckeyes for the title.
All right. Well, it's good to be back in a normal place, where I can once again plot my day on a normal time zone and dissect the Valerie Plame testimony like a normal person. Good day to you.

Mike Wise: Big Opportunity Wasted [Washington Post]
Long Arm of the Law Carries Texas A&M [Houston Chronicle]
Close, No Scars for Bruins [L.A. Times]

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