This is my favorite time of the year. The beginning of springtime, with the temperatures going up and the birds chirping and the longer days, coincides with the one sporting event I really go crazy for – the NCAA basketball tournament. I’m a huge college basketball fan, one of those people who knows the names of the top players in the current high school sophomore class and who is recruiting them.
My favorite team is the Duke Blue Devils, which I know is cliche` (they’re like the New York Yankees of college basketball), but I’m anything but a bandwagon fan. I became a Duke fan in my early high school days when I saw the legendary Al Maguire do a report on the Cameron Crazies, Duke’s fanatically devoted student fans who have a long history of disrupting opposing teams who play Duke at home. I began following them at the time, before they really started winning, just because I thought that was exactly what college sports should be about.
But even more than being a Duke fan, I’m a college basketball fan in general. Duke is in the elite 8 right now, down to the last 8 teams in the hunt for a national championship. Tomorrow they play for a shot at the 10th final four since Coach K got there 23 years ago. But even if they lose, I’ll be glued to the final four next weekend. You just can’t top this event. It’s the best thing in sports.
Of course, there are a few of those dreaded North Carolina Tar Heel fans in the blogosphere, like Kyle Still. But Kyle is a very bright guy who has recently finished his thesis on the 9th amendment and the right to privacy, so I overlook that one stunning failure of his character and promote his site anyway.