Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Benefits of Being an Extremely Casual Basketball Fan

As I conversed with my father last night, he asked if I wanted to talk about Michigan basketball.

It was a tiring day, so instead of my usual, "Yea! Isn't that awesome?!" my response was more muted.

"Um, what's going on? Is the season over yet?"

Living in Colorado and rooting for a Big Team team is really hard. My DirecTV doesn't have the Big Ten Network, so I can't tune in to as many games as I want. So imagine my surprise when he said that Michigan had a chance to clinch the Big Ten regular season title by winning one of their final two games.

I had been so consumed by the Olympics that my normal viewing of college basketball had been greatly limited. My knowledge of the season is as follows:

- Wichita State is undefeated.

- Kentucky still isn't living up to expectations.

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- Syracuse isn't living up to expectations?

So as you can see, I have joined the ranks of the Extremely Casual Basketball Fan, instead of the Mildly Invested Basketball Fan. It's a bit jarring, not knowing the current top team in the ACC (...Duke?) or which teams are upsetting the favorites during conference play (is Butler doing anything special right now?).

This might be advantageous for me in the long run. For as far back as I can remember, I have filled out a bracket for the NCAA Tournament. Every year I use my Mildly Invested Basketball Fan status to fill out my bracket with the knowledge, insight, and research that I've compounded over the season.

And every year, I fail miserably.

I have my own rules that I need to follow (1. Don't fill it out on Monday. 2. Pick upsets for the third round, NOT the second round), and it's given me hope that my bracket can be good. However, my trump card is my current ignorance of this season.

My friends fill out brackets too, and normally they do better than me. I am almost on the same knowledge level this year, so that may give me an advantage. (Sorry, Friends. I will beat you.)

The most exciting thing about the upcoming Tournament is that I am on Spring Break that week. Instead of viewing the scores after school lets out and getting disappointed that I didn't see the game that everyone is talking about, I can pick up some wings, sit on my rear, and watch the entire slate of games - including the game - without fear of missing anything.

I did get to watch the Michigan game tonight, when they trounced Illinois, and there were some names that I didn't even know on Michigan's roster. (Was his name Derek Irving?) But I will strive to maintain my Extremely Casual Basketball Fan status, because at the moment, it means I might actually do well in my upcoming bracket.

May the Big Ten conference tournament begin! (Oh, wait, that's next week? Eh, never mind. I don't even care.)


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