Alas, I am in mourning for the Butler Bulldogs. Saturday night’s game was all an NCAA tournament game should be, except for its final outcome. Actually, all four of the teams I was watching – Valparaiso, Missouri, St. Louis and Butler – are now done for the season.
So what now? My outlook for the remainder of the tournament may be summed up in the nostalgic theme from one of my childhood favorite cartoons:
That’s right. I’m going to root for underdogs. Louisville, Kansas, Indiana and Duke already have plenty of fans.
There are four teams from the bottom half of the regional brackets still in contention. In the West region, 9th seeded Wichita State knocked off top-seeded Gonzaga. (Just as an aside – Butler beat Gonzaga during the regular season. But I digress.) Also in the West, 13th seed LaSalle is still alive. Problem is, these two teams meet next, so who to root for? Wichita State lives up to its Shockers moniker, but LaSalle is the underdog of the matchup. This may be a game where it’s cool to root for everyone.
In the West, 12th seed Oregon is still alive, having beaten Oklahoma State and St. Louis University. I personally believe that the reason that Oregon was not seeded higher is due solely to its (shall we say quirky?) team nickname. Go Ducks! Beat Louisville!
And finally in the South, Florida Gulf Coast University, in it’s second year of eligibility for the tournament, has reached the Sweet 16 as a 15th seed. This is a dream team for an underdog fan. Plus there is enough black and gold still running in my veins to dream of a FGCU victory over Kansas. But first they need to play Florida. Whatever the outcome, Friday is going to be a great day for the Sunshine State.
More importantly, I would also like to wish everyone a blessed Holy Week. Easter is by far my favorite holiday. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the real reason that there’s no need to fear.