Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Madness of March

It’s that time of year when I start to get excited about sports. The Cubs are in spring training in Mesa and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has begun.

Baseball is one of my passions! (I’ll write more about the Cubs and Baseball in a later post).

I’m not really a big Pro basketball fan, but I do enjoy College hoops. Contrary to my Chicago upbringing, I am an ACC fan. This stems from my college days at the University of Maryland. "Lefty" Driesell (sp?) was the coach at that time, and had had just come to Maryland from Davidson College. Tom McMillen, who later became a Congressman from Maryland, was the star of our team. This was in the early 1970’s when the Tobacco Road teams (North Carolina) dominated the ACC.

In 1978, a newly drafted Pro Basketball Player (Washington Bullets) from DePaul University (Chicago) became my neighbor. We often argued about College Hoops. He is (or was) in the NCAA record book as one of the top 10 point scorers in a single game in the NCAA playoffs.

But he was a player and I was a fan. We had different perspectives of the game.

I contended that ACC Basketball was the best all-around league in the NCAA. He claimed that the Big 10 was the best conference and that I being from Chicago, as he was, should be loyal to my home conference. I was instead loyal to my school and the conference in which they played!

My argument went down the drain when we watched Magic Johnson lead Michigan State (Big 10) to a victory in the NCAA final in March, 1979. My neighbor had been gloating for two days because none of my ACC teams had made it to the finals! I was pulling for Larry Bird and Indiana State. I lost $10 on a side bet with Dave that night.

He was so overjoyed that he scored 22 points for the Bullets on the next night. It was sort of an “in your face” kind of thing.

However, I’ve always cheered for the ACC teams in the tournament every year. As I want my school’s team or someone in our conference to win the tournament.

The Beach Bum

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