Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 3 Postmortem: Saturday Night Is Alright For Fighting

We had it with your discipline
Saturday night's alright for fighting
Get a little action in

Get about as oiled as a diesel train
Gonna set this dance alight
'Cause Saturday night's the night I like
Saturday night's alright, alright, alright

With Saturday being the first honest-to-goodness it's 60 and some odd degrees of perfection outside day of the Spring, I couldn't have been happier spending the entire day tethered to a stool at the Shannon in Hoboken, NJ. With $2 dollar drafts lubricating a heated and recurrent argument about whether kicking the ball should reset the shot clock (and if you believe that play should be stopped then you must enforce a penalty. right?) and a bevy of flatscreen televisions bringing me and a small group all the Day 3 action, it was a fine time to be indoors. And, no sunscreen necessary.

The struggles of the day (aside from the aforementioned kicked-ball debate) included the occasional walk around the corner for a slice of pizza and the annual moment of bracket-busting truth when one stops rooting to be right and starts getting real embraces the Madness that is March.

I was pulling for Nova to pull it out against St. Mary's. Even though I hate Villanova. Aside from the fact that this program knocked off Patrick Ewing's '85 Hoyas in the championship game, Jay Wright has always struck me as the wrong kind of college-coach cocky. Having grown up a Big East hoops acolyte and attended Boston College before the switch, I tend to pull for all of the conference's schools when watching them play non-BC competition. All of them except Villanova. Because, like I said, I have some renewable wellspring of dislike for that program deep in my heart. Maybe it was the uncle of an ex-girlfriend, who was a Nova grad and seemed every bit as smug as I'd imagined Wright to be. Maybe it's all about '85. I'm not sure.

But I was rooting for them early yesterday. Because I had picked them to advance. Not because I liked them. But because I liked being right. For myself, and presumably for lots of bracketeers out there, this is a common battle during the Big Dance. At what point do you abandon the quest for being right and revel in the unpredictability of it all?

St. Mary's triumph over Nova was the threshold for me. After being the lone person at the bar (there were only a handful of hearty souls in position by 1:30) pulling for the favorite, I embraced the Madness. From then on, I was able to root for Northern Iowa without being bothered that I hadn't predicted that result.

Which brings me too...

WWOD?'s Day 4 Round of 32 Picks:
Syracuse over Gonzaga
The Ohio State University over Georgia Tech
Maryland over Michigan State
West Virginia over Missouri
Cornell over Wisconsin
Duke over Cal
Pittsburgh over Xavier
Purdue over Texas A&M

WWOD?'s Needlessly Complex Wager of Day 4:
4-point teaser with Ohio State (teased to -2.5), Maryland (+2.5) and West Virginia (-2)
Bet $10, Pays $19