Preparing for March Madness…

the greatest single-elimination basketball tournament play in the United States

March Madness
Photo via Twitter #OneShiningMoment

“It’s almost time to get your College Basketball on…March Madness is nearly here!”

The NCAA Tournament, which has reduced the NIT in Madison Square Garden, New York, into a mere consolation event, is upon us.

It’s time for current students to show off their body painting expertise and…

Alumni to proudly wear their school’s apparel on national television.

The Dance is a mad, mad race to the NCAA Basketball Title and every team has a shot.

There will be Giant Basketball Programs seeded at the top of the tournament brackets, but as always Cinderella Basketball Programs will be hunting them down.

It’s inevitable…Giants will fall!

Coaches will preach and preach to their players,

“…Be ready!“,

Until they’re sick in their stomachs, but chances are that if a Giant sees any Cinderella team coming their way…it’s too late!

That Cinderella team already has slain a Giant team and it’s coming with intentions of chopping their heads off next.

The Media loves labeling these teams Cinderellas but they’re really not!

Photo via Pinterest.Com

What are they really, then?

Well, they’re very well coached and talented upper class-men led teams.

And lots of them have two or more players which were not highly recruited by Division I Major Basketball Programs.

These guys are highly motivated and March Madness is their shot at the Giant programs which ignored ’em during recruiting and…

“They will be coming for their pound of flesh…you can go all in and bet the house on that one, trust me!”

Coach John Calipari, University of Kentucky;

“…We’ll do what we do best and live with the consequences!”

It really should be every Coach approach to the tournament. There’s just no way to prepare for the Madness.

Mike Krzyzeski is the man when it comes down to the NCAA Tournament and he knows all about it.

Until recent events, Coach K had been running the Duke basketball program flawlessly for more than thirty years and has been personally selected to defend the honor of United States Basketball during the Summer Olympics on many occasions.

Coach K conducts interviews, after a win or a lost, with the same gentleman’s dignity.

Personally, I feel that his greatest accomplishment to date is the fact that he has been able to remain friends with the socially super challenge, Bobby Knight for all these years.

Coach K will never admit it publicly, but he feels great relief whenever his Blue Devils head into the Dance without a monstrous bulls’ eye on their foreheads.

He knows there’s an overlooked team out there just waiting in the weeds, ready to ambush a Giant Basketball Program like his’.

It’s the very definition of March Madness!

Michigan’s Fab 5 never won a title, NC State won it on air ball dunk, North Carolina won one once, on a last second turnover, on and on the list goes…

The only predictable thing about March Madness is…that it’s going to be unpredictable.

That’s why everyone loves it!

Even folks who know almost next to nothing about NCAA basketball will be filling in office pools.

The Networks are going to be stepping on each other with multiple story-lines, trying to identify the Cinderella teams early.

It’s great fun for all, except for the Giant Basketball Programs because they’re expected to win and advance.

You’re going to hear multiple taglines, such as…

“Teams on the Bubble, Selection Sunday, Bracketology, etc…”

And it’s just the beginning!

Later on you will hear other words, such as…

“The Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four!”

Do not be concern with the terminology…no ones knows how March Madness is going to unfold…that’s why folks fill in multiple office pools.

There is nothing more fun for a sports fan like myself to see major Networks scrambling to find video footage of some school out in the Midwest somewhere or to hear a television commentator take pride in not butchering some poor kid’s last name on National Television.

The Dance is where Coaches earn their reward for all the sixteen hour work days they’d to put in, the payoff of all those practice hours for players and…

For first time players-and their parents!-the Dance is going to be a bucket list moment.

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Photo via ABC News

“…Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!”, Jim Valvano

Those were Jimmy V’s words to the entire world as cancer was getting the better of him.

There are Coaches and Basketball Programs in the Tournament with a lot more wins and titles, but the true spirit of March Madness will always belong to Jimmy V and his 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack.

“…How do you go from where you are to where you wanna be? I think you must have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And you have to be willing to work for it!”, Jim Valvano

 

The Wolfpack had no chance to get in the 1983 NCAA Tournament unless they won the ACC Tournament outright, which would earn North Carolina State an automatic bid to March Madness, so…they did!

What happened next, is the stuff which dreams are made of.

Within a month’s time, after a magical stretch run, a video clip showing Valvano running up and down the court after winning the 1983 NCAA championship, seemingly in disbelief and looking for someone to hug, made him the Avatar of March Madness.

Photo via Pinterest

Jimmy V, eventually lost his battle with cancer in 1993, just eight weeks after giving his legendary speech at the ESPY Awards.

“…Now I’m fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how’s your day, and nothing is changed for me,” , Jim Valvano

 

March Madness, like its’ Avatar ( Jimmy V ), has remained a symbol of courage and love for the game ever since that moment for me and it will always be.

“…Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul,”, Jim Valvano

Written by Julio Olmo

 

Seat Geek

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About Julio Olmo 34 Articles
All things sports brought to you by The Voice of One! A mixture of sports history with current events seen through my eyes...Courtesy Nuts & Bolts Sports.

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