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CINDERELLA WEARS BASKETBALL SHORTS
Why I Love March Madness
I did my undergraduate study at the University of Connecticut. During that time, the school was emerging from a period of relative mediocrity to become a national powerhouse. Since that time, the men’s basketball team has won four NCAA championships and the women’s team has won 11. I feel a little spoiled. It’s a bit like having seen a band when they were touring small clubs, only to find out they’re filling arenas a few years down the road. UConn’s basketball team was a big deal in Connecticut long before they became national champions. At that time, the only professional team nearby was the Hartford Whalers, so college sports were the main attraction. That’s even more the case now that the Whalers are long gone. As our programs improved, it felt like the entire state was behind them. Whether or not someone graduated from UConn, you can bet they were cheering for the Huskies. Going from the sports-crazed environment of New England to San Diego was a refreshing change. While Southern California boasts a very athletic community — we’ve got runners, triathletes, surfers, you name it — we don’t have the same all-encompassing zeal for our local teams. In my mind, it makes watching sports a lot more fun. Don’t get me wrong. I still root for UConn to do well. But in San Diego, it’s nice to know that our entire community won’t have a rain cloud over its head after a loss. March Madness is the perfect example of how much fun sports can be when you put rooting interests aside. When I watch the tournament, I enjoy seeing the incredible feats of athleticism. If a Cinderella school I’ve never heard of beats a national powerhouse, I get excited about the upset. Sure, I don’t want to see UConn lose, but it’s not cause for public mourning. In fact, I think the upsets are what make March Madness so special. We all face challenges in our lives that feel daunting or insurmountable. Seeing teams with fewer resources win against the big boys reminds me what’s achievable when you put your mind to something, work together, and
never give up. That’s a message that resonates far beyond the hardwood of a basketball court.
Dr. Ryann Cacciotti and her husband have SDSU season tickets, so of course they’re hoping the Aztecs make a deep run in the tournament. Whether you’re the type of person who fills out every bracket and watches every game or someone who just catches the highlights on the news, I hope you are able to enjoy some college basketball this March. We may live in a world where you can watch sports 24/7, but March Madness still feels unique.
Oh, and one more thing: Go Huskies!
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