While none of the college basketball teams I root for made the Final Four in their respective tournaments, I probably really ought to note that there is a team that might loosely be termed “mine” that’s playing in the national semifinal. Then again, since they’ve gotten this far without me saying anything about them at all, maybe they’d be just as happy if I continued my benevolent neglect…

We’re all science types here, though, so to hell with superstition: Union College, where I work, plays hockey at the NCAA Division I level, and has made it to the “Frozen Four,” the semifinals of the NCAA hockey tournament. This has led to mass media attention, including an amusing confessional piece in the Wall Street Journal from an alumnus who opposed the move to Div. I back in the day (which is especially noteworthy for containing a photo credit for Matt Milless, who also took the photo that graces the front page of DogPhysics.com…). Their first game is in about fifteen minutes, and if they win that, they’ll play for the title on Saturday.

I won’t pretend to be a big fan of the team or of hockey in general– I was all about basketball growing up, and have minimal knowledge of even the rules of hockey, let alone the finer points of the game. I’m not one of those academics who have a principled objection to college athletics as a general matter, though, and my interactions with the players and coaches have all been fine, so I’m perfectly happy to see the team generate some excitement for the college. This is likely to be one of the high points of the college experience for a lot of our students, in the same way that beating amherst in rugby was one of my high points, and the undefeated football seasons were highlights for many of my classmates at Williams. So, I hope they win the whole thing– as long as we don’t have riots and tear gas, it’s all good.

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Lund
    April 5, 2012

    There are some places where hockey is taken as seriously as basketball or football are elsewhere. The highest paid public official in my state is the men’s hockey coach at Flagship State (in most states this honor goes to either the football coach or the men’s basketball coach). However, the team had a bad year and didn’t make the NCAA tournament. Congrats to Union for getting to the Frozen Four.

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