Only one team will cut down the nets on April 2ND in New Orleans. The losing team will then conclude towards the same sadness the rest of the field experienced along the way once they were eliminated. The losses are always heart-breaking. Especially when seeing a senior player being consoled after walking off the court for the last time of their college career. These somber moments will outweigh the joy of winning in some cases. Some of those who experienced celebration before departure will receive a brief consolation prize during the 2012 rendition of One Shining Moment.
Plenty of excitement will first pave the way to this year’s Final Four. Fan-bases will begin occupying airports, interstates, and hotels to see their beloved team make a run towards the championship. Some fans may actually get to sleep in their own beds the night before the game if traveling as is the case with Kentucky playing up the road in Louisville. Duke Blue Devil fans and North Carolina Tar Heel faithful know the Greensboro area better than some of the local residents this time of year. For others not making their way into a host city, the combination of CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV will brighten the spirits of many once they see their favorite squad tip-off.
We all get to wet the palate early with the play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday. After these initial winners are decided the 60 teams receiving a first-round bye will welcome them into the traditional field of 64 before the next three weeks whittles the bracket down to one.
Many methods of selecting the winners for each round have already taken effect. The fan that goes with their heart already has their favorite team winning it all by double-digits in the championship game. The fan who knows their rooting interest isn’t good enough to win it all will still find a way to eliminate each of their rivals before the round of 16. Advancing all of the top seeds worked really well in the 2008 tournament. Taking the underdogs has panned-out well the last couple of dances. Some fans will make it as simple as flipping a coin. Determining the winner may come down to color preference. (Note to self, the last eight champions have worn some shade of blue.) Other fans will change their selections more than Nicki Minaj changes hairstyles.
However someone predicts the bracket to commence will end once Murray State and Colorado State take the floor shortly after noon on Thursday. Wings, pizza, and dips will then go down as easily as a foul shot leaving the hands of an 89% free-throw shooter. Beware of not only the Ides of March, but the heartburn as well.
The tournament will see both reality and actuality. We will know drama when we see it and the very funny moments as well. Enjoy the games and hopefully the team you have winning it all, or the team you’ve grown fond of through the years, has the last dance before America’s most watched network cue’s the music.
*Article originally posted to ultimatesportstalk.com on 3/12/12