Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Whom I'll Be Pulling for This Weekend and Why

First of all, with Mount St. Mary's's win over Coppin State in Tuesday night's opening round game, the Catholics are 1–0 in God's Bracket.

Now, allow me to explain my rooting interests in this year's NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. If any two teams on this list meet in the tournament, I will be pulling for the team that ranks highest. Of course, I'll root for any of these teams against a team not on the list. Here you go:

1. Vanderbilt
Because I hold a degree from the university's Divinity School.

2. Butler
Because my mother earned her master's degree at Butler, and because the school is in Indianapolis, where I was born and raised. Also, I like little schools that become perennial contenders.

3. Drake
Because Drake represents the Missouri Valley Conference, and I graduated from a Missouri Valley school (Evansville). Also, one of my cousins is a Drake grad who currently works for the university.

4. Indiana
Because my dad—along with my uncle and several of my friends—graduated from Indiana, and I was raised a loyal fan of the Hoosiers, attending several games at Assembly Hall in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Also, I have three credit hours from Indiana on my college transcript (from a class I took in high school). And my band played a party there once. Honestly, I have more connections to IU than either Butler or Drake, but I have to put the overachieving little guy ahead of the underachieving powerhouse.

5. Purdue
Because several friends and members of my extended family went to Purdue, and because my band played there a couple times. Actually, as an Indiana fan, I was raised to despise Purdue; but Matt Painter and his Baby Boilers have won me over.

6. American
Because they are the only United Methodist school in the tourney that isn't Duke.

7. Belmont
Because I enjoy hanging out at Bongo Java.

8. Memphis
Because Memphis is the team from a non-power conference with the best shot at winning it all. (Memphis gets bonus points for being in Tennessee.)

9. Tennessee
Because UT is the SEC team with the best chance of winning it all, and because I like Bruce Pearl.

10. Xavier
Because Xavier, like Memphis, is a non-power-conference school with a chance to go far, and because the Musketeers were a rival of my Evansville Aces back in the 1980s.

11. Georgia
Because my sister, even though she prefers Georgia Tech, earned her master's degree from UGA.

12. Austin Peay
Because I have to support the schools from Middle Tennessee.

13. South Alabama
Because I'm tired of pundits saying that the Jaguars don't deserve to be in this year's tourney.

14. Louisville
Because a friend of mine earned a Ph.D from Louisville, and because I pass the school whenever I drive from Nashville to Indianapolis.

15. Wisconsin
Because I grew up a fan of the Big Ten, and because I don't think Wisconsin gets enough respect for the great season they've had.

16. Mississippi State
Because I watched Jamont Gordon play in high school.

That should do.

3 Comments:

Blogger gavin richardson said...

what, no georgetown? natural big man and a second generation coach from the same family.

8:54 PM  
Blogger rocksalive777 said...

Ah, Georgia - Sunday, there were people ringing our chapel bell (an old tradition to celebrate football victories). Thursday, several professors canceled class or put the game on in class (I was taking a test. Every five minutes, we got score updates). We did so well until the last eight minutes...sigh.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Adam C. said...

Well, my man, I had the great fortune of being able to go to Tampa to watch my Bulldogs and your Commodores play. It didn't really work out the way we had hoped, though Holly and I did get to see some spectacular games there.

Luckily, my three decades of being a Cubs fan has prepared me for this kind of heartache and I can stand - stoic and resolute - and say proudly (and without a hint of a sarcastic smile) - wait until next year.

6:54 PM  

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