Hello, March Madness.
It’s Bracket Reveal time.
That means millions of folks around America will be dutifully picking winners to join pools, large and small, hoping they have great knowledge or luck.
So today I’ll be wondering where my alma mater Maryland will go, and if hometown team Syracuse is on the right side of the bubble. Maryland won’t be receiving the high seed that I expected after its hot early start, when the Terps were ranked as high as No. 2 in the country, after late-season doldrums. And after finished with five losses in its last six games, I’m fairly certain that Syracuse won’t be included in the Big Dance today.
Yeah, everybody and their cousin will be analyzing the men’s brackets.
Me, though, tomorrow I’ll keep an eye on where the women’s teams from both my universities land, too. Maryland is very good again. Last year, my Terps fell to perennial power Connecticut in the national championship game. And Syracuse continued its yearly improvement, making the big dance and beating Nebraska before losing to third-ranked South Carolina in a 22-10 season.
After winning the Big Ten regular season and conference tournament titles, Maryland, with a record of 29-3, should get the home court for the first two rounds, a wrinkle in the women’s March Madness that’s not allowed for the men’s squads. And because of its run to the title game of the ACC tournament — a loss to No. 2 Notre Dame that still leaves the Orange with a lofty mark of 25-7 — Syracuse has a chance for one of those 16 home seeds, too.
If that happens Monday, it would be a calling out of basketball fans in Central New York. In the cavernous Carrier Dome, where the men’s team draws 30,000-plus in its biggest rivalries, the women have averaged around 700 fans a game this year. I did not misplace a zero. I did not go to any basketball games, men or women in the dome this year.
But if my work schedule at the store allows and the Orange gets that home contest, I’ll seriously consider escorting my dear wife Karen. The players deserve the support. I watched the ACC Tournament final against Notre Dame, and appreciate both their talent and desire.
What teams will you be looking for when the brackets are announced, and why? What’s the last game you attended, and why? Would you consider attending the women’s NCAA tournament if it played near you, and why?