sports blog by andy shenk


In Xavier on March 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM

At work this afternoon my standards slipped a little. After watching the Murray St. – Colorado St. NCAA Tournament game on the TV during lunch, I let one of my clients turn the TV back on while we cleaned our last two rooms for the day. We muted the game, but I still looked up frequently to check the score. Fortunately, we got everything done in time, and Murray St. began putting Colorado St. away, just as I had hoped. No harm done — it’s March Madness, after all. Back in high school my bible teacher even let us watch the games during class.

For the rest of the afternoon my wife texted me updates from various games in progress. One texting mix-up led me to believe that St. Louis had defeated Memphis, a crucial 8-9 matchup in which I had no faith in St. Louis to win. When I met my wife at the library after work I was devastated to learn that “Louis” stood for Louisville, not St. Louis. Instead of picking up a big win, I’d narrowly missed correctly picking 13 seed Davidson to upset 4 seed Louisville.

From that point on my day gradually improved. I’ve picked 9 games correctly and missed 3. 15 of my Sweet 16 teams are still alive. My true love, 10 seed Xavier University, does not play until Friday night at 8:45 PM, so no matter my prognosticating success until then, I’ll be thinking mostly of their contest with 7 seed University of Notre Dame. If they win, I’ll be in love with this tournament until their next game on Sunday. If they lose, the status of my bracket won’t even matter to me for a few days, anyway.

Right now, however, this basketball frenzy has consumed me. I’m hardly aware of the NBA, MLB spring training, Russian soccer or basketball. The Spurs won a big game last night at home agains the Orlando Magic. FC Anzhi drew at home with Spartak Moscow on Monday, 0-0. Lokomotiv Kuban dropped a road game to Khimki Moscow on Tuesday, 88-80. The Reds haven’t won a spring training game recently…that’s as much as I know about them. For 10 days: Friday night of the conference basketball tournaments until Sunday night of the first weekend of March Madness, I think of one thing: NCAA basketball. Everything else has to wait.

Xavier University vs. University of Notre Dame. 2nd Round NCAA Tournament.

Friday, March 16, 2012. 9:45 PM ET. Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC.


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