Friday, April 03, 2015

True Confession: Why I'm Rooting For Duke

Confession time: my bracket got blown up in the first game of the NCAA tournament (No, I'm not counting the nonsense in Dayton). I'd picked Iowa State as a dark horse for a Final Four run, based on their remarkable, unflappable drive to the Big 12 championship and their ability to rally from double-digit deficits. So naturally they got ambushed by the University that Ate Birmingham and went out 40 minutes into the whole shebang.

Bracket, blown.
(Note: The last time I'd picked Iowa State to do anything in the tournament, they were a 2 seed playing a lightly regarded MEAC school, Hampton, in Boise. Hampton won.)
So, OK. Bracket blown. I could at least make it look good with my other picks, right? 3 out of 4 in the Final Four is-
Oh, hi, Villanova. I guess you weren't really using that 1 seed.
Right. Whatever. Maybe I can salvage some dignity with 2 out of 4. Everyone's saying that Arizona's playing the best basketball in the country right now and maybe they can-
Jesus, that Kaminsky guy is tall. I'll bet he eats a lot of dairy. Strong bones. Wisconsin. Whatever.
Which means that as things stand, my bracket looks like a slice of Gruyere caught in a tornado. I picked Kentucky to win it all, but then again so did everyone else, and I really don't have a rooting interest in this Final Four. I mean, 40-0 is a compelling story and it's nice to watch multiple future 76ers play, so that's something for Kentucky, and Kaminsky is fun to watch for Wisconsin, and Duke's local, and Tom Izzo something something 7 seed. There's no compelling reason to really root for any of these teams; they've all gorged on success and there are no underdogs worthy of the name.
So I've decided, I'm rooting for Duke. Not because I particularly like Duke, per se. There's not a Duke player alive or dead that ever thought a foul called on them was justified, and I don't care what the 30 for 30 said, Christian Laettner still comes across as a minor Batman villain.
My nephew is a huge Duke fan. And it will make him very, very happy if Duke wins, and very, very sad if Duke loses.
So that's a good enough reason to root for someone, right? To see someone else happy?
Good enough for me. Go Duke.
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