The months between January and August are terrible for the majority of us sports fans. We rely on football, either pro or college, to give us our entertainment on the weekends, after a long week from work or school. We miss the thrills of week to week drama (and joke) that is the BCS in college football. We miss the plays, like that of Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch, running over eight or nine New Orleans defenders in the NFL playoffs. It just isn’t the same. We feel like something is missing.
But beginning in March, we see the beauty of basketball, college and pro alike. The great stories like that of the Pensacola State College Women’s basketball team, going undefeated and running their way through the competition to a state championship. The fairy tales of mid majors, like Butler in 2010, and George Mason in 2007, captivating the hearts of many Americans on their ways to final four appearances in the NCAA tournament. The pressure packed final 20 or so games of the NBA regular season that teams use to prep for their postseason runs.
It doesn’t matter if you are a basketball fan or not. You will find many people in a week or two with printed NCAA tournament brackets, trying to predict the field of 68 (was 64 a year ago). The NCAA regular season in basketball is definitely not as exciting as the NBA’s or NFL’s regular season, but once that tournament bracket is released, look out. Every sports bar in America will be showing tournament games. Who will be the next Butler or George Mason? People that aren’t even interested in basketball will watch, and in that way the NCAA wins.
Likewise, the amount of people watching the NBA will increase. Over the past few years, the final playoff spots in each conference, especially the Western conference, have been up for grabs. The teams are so close together this year that the five through eight seeds in the west will likely change day to day over these last 20 games. And then we have our own Pensacola State College Women’s team.
35-1. Yes, that’s right. 35-1. Thirty-four game win streak, state champions of Florida and third in the nation. That is hardly a light accomplishment. In a city that does not have a cult recognized sports team, the Lady Pirates put together the best season in their history. So strap your seatbelts, folks. March Madness has arrived.