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  • Writer's pictureToddlb

Unseasoned March

The clip sorta sums up March for me and why the tournament is my favorite sporting event by leagues. The play is decidedly unprofessional. I mean, that kid from Virginia should never, ever make that heave. That's 4th grade CYO level desperation (as a one-time CYO Coach of the Year, I can tell you that my players wouldn't have done that). Don't panic is the single most important mantra for the sporting life.

On the other hand, that clutch three. Stunningly seasoned. Absolutely pro.

This tournament is a display of youth trying really hard and the extreme effort results in sharply bipolar outcomes.

Virginia did not fail. I don't think Chris Webber's errant timeout or Fred Brown's (Georgetown) pass to James Worthy (North Carolina)* are failures. They are just part of the madness of a single-elimination tournament. The pressure is too much for young men and women. We don't put the pros through this. And, yet, I think that's exactly what makes it great.

* I remember seeing this live in '82 and thinking, "Fred totally could be me." That championship game really emphasizes the duality of March Madness. Brown makes that blunder with seconds to go right after a skinny kid named Michael put North Carolina up by one with a shot that looked altogether casual... a tidy 30 second amalgamation of March's Madness.

Perhaps related, I quit playing organized basketball around this time, choosing to pursue a sport that, at its purest and original form, does not involve teammates, opposing players, balls, clocks, or scores. (Don't panic, though, most certainly still applies.)

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