Between today and tomorrow 64 division I basketball teams (my apologies to Coppin State) will take to the hardwood with their championship dreams in tact.  By Saturday morning, 32 teams worth of dreams will have ended.  If you figure there are anywhere from 15 to 20 student-athletes (most of whom are going pro in something other than sports) on any given team, that’s 960 to 1280 dreams (480 to 640 dreams ending).  That’s a lot of dreaming.  For a lot of these athletes, this is what they were trained to do.  For some, it was just a shot they took in the hopes that they would make the tournament.  But for all of them, it’s the little 10 year old boy inside all of them who spent hours outside in the backyard or at the playground tossing up basketballs and acting out the game winning shot with themselves as the star.  They would lie awake at night just thinking about being featured on the “One Shining Moment” video at the end of the tournament, and they hoped to be featured because they were holding the trophy and cutting down the nets.

This is why I LOVE March Madness.

Every single one of those players, whether a 16 seed or a 1 seed, believes they can win the championship.  They don’t care that certain seeds have never won it all.  They don’t care that certain seeds have won more championships than others.  All they care about is how they play the game on that day for the opportunity to make their dreams come true.  You could say it’s the largest delusional cocktail party ever created, but I prefer to think of it as believing in yourself and never giving up on what COULD happen.

In the end, you can talk all you want about guard play, defense, 3 point percentage, post players, and free throws, but what I believe wins a tournament consists of three things: wanting it more than anyone else, believing you can do it, and the extra effort it takes in every game to make it happen.  And that’s where filling out a perfect bracket is impossible because those three things can’t be found on any box score or stat sheet.  They can only be seen in every game between now and April 7th.

64 teams of student-athletes are taking to the hardwood over the next two days, and all of them are playing with one similar factor:

Their Dreams.


About Leann

Lazy Pancreas Owner. TV/Movie/Theatre Junkie. Sports Fanatic. Peyton Manning Expert. Alabama Graduate. Car Karaoke Performer. Believer In Love. Come along for the ride.

Posted on March 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Too bad Rob and I will be gone this weekend, because you two could hash out all of the March Madness during the “meet and greet” at church! It’s all basketball, all the time, at our house for the next few days!

  2. *sniff sniff* you’re making me get all misty . . .

  3. Carolina-Louisville was a heck of a game, much closer than the score indicated. I was pretty impressed by Louisville making that comeback in a very pro-Carolina environment.

    I was also impressed with your boy Hansborough. We talked about his NBA chances a while back, and after having seen him in a couple games I think he has a good shot. He probably won’t be the superstar he is in college, but I think in a couple years he could be a 15-10 guy, maybe even an All-Star.

    His effort reminds me a lot of Edwardo Najera, a guy who managed to earn a rotation spot on pure hustle, and has turned into a pretty good player. Hansborough is more athletic and much better offensively though. He seems to have taken a page from Antawn Jamison’s book of making shots from weird angles. He also was making those 15-17 foot jumpers that pro forwards have to make — they weren’t exactly pretty but they went in. David West of the Hornets is about the same size and makes a living on those types of shots. I expect after a few years in the league he might could push that range out to the 3 point line, lots of big guys have.

    Anyway, that’s my thoughts, I look forward to hopefully seeing a UNC-Kansas matchup in the final four, that would be a great game for so many reasons.

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