Bracket Busting

I spent most of my life not caring about college basketball. Don’t get me wrong, I love basketball in general. In fact, aside from waterpolo (which might as well be the official pasttime of my hometown), basketball is really the only sport I’ve ever followed closely, watched regularly and played often. But, being a diehard Lakers fan, I was usually so focused on Vlade, Pau, Kobe, Eddie and Magic (I’m talking over the years, of course), that I never paid much attention to what was going on in the NCAA. All of that changed when I started dating a hardcore basketball fan, whose own basketball allegiances were strictly of the collegiate kind. In fact, he and his father refer to the Lakers game that we recently attended as sacrilege. This guy worships at the altar of all things NCAA. To him, the NBA is a false idol — bloated, flashy and far less important than college basketball. It was Tyler who got me started watching college basketball games, and it’s Tyler who I have to thank for showing me how much fast-paced, frenetic and fraught with emotion those games are. I have to admit, I’ve become a bit of an NCAA convert. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always love my Lakers. And Pau Gasol is still the sexiest thing the hardwood has to offer. But, there’s just something about the energy and emotion of an NCAA game that makes it infinitely more exciting to watch. I guess Obama agrees with me, because this is his bracket for the big tournament — big news on ESPN this week. Being such a recent convert to collegiate basketball, I don’t feel sure enough of any of my opinions on the topic to write them down in any sort of public way. But, apparently, I’m not the only one who isn’t 100% sure, since Obama’s bracket is messier than the confirmation process for Commerce Secretary. I have to admit, it’s kind of nice to see the Commander in Chief showing a human side for a change. Nice to know that even the legend that is Barack Obama has to deal with doubting himself. It almost makes me want to fill out my own bracket. Or at least root for the Tar Heels — if only because Obama picked them to win.

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