Madness reigns supreme

It didn’t take long for March Madness to live up to its name.

Before we even got snug on our couches, the Dayton Flyers stunned their in-state big brother, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

There’s no doubt that OSU was more individually talented than Dayton. But the Flyers reminded us that basketball is a team sport, not an individual one.

Stealing a line from Duck Dynasty’s Jase Robertson, Dayton sent us a clear message that It’s On.

For the next three weeks, we’ll be watching bracket-busting buzzer beaters.

Sure, there will be some lopsided contests like Wisconsin’s blasting of American, but for every one of those there will be a tight down-to-the-wire contest often featuring an underdog that few gave any chance trying to knock off one of the perennial national powers.

Of all our championships, this one provides the most entertainment value.

Especially during the first week when there are several games taking place at one time.

If the one you are watching doesn’t hold your interest, push the remote and you’ll find one that does.

Like any other tournament, the cream rises to the top.

But sometimes that cream includes an upstart like Butler, Wichita State or Virginia Commonwealth, schools that don’t compete in major college football but have become household names with their recent basketball success.

It’s not just fun watching all the different styles of play, but it’s also interesting.

How can you not appreciate a team like Harvard who epitomizes what team play is all about?

By allowing 68 teams to compete for the championship, college basketball gets virtually everyone involved in its tournament. It seems like everyone fills out a bracket, even those who never have watched a basketball game all year and pick the winners based upon the nicknames or the school colors.

It’s an American tradition. We all remember Jimmy Valvano looking for someone to hug after his North Carolina State team won the title.

We’ll never forget Christian Laettner catching the pass and sinking the game-winning shot for the ever-present Duke Blue Devils.

Or Larry Bird leading little Indiana State into the title game against Magic Johnson and Michigan State, previewing many future battles between two of the all-time NBA greats.

They say that the first day of March Madness is the least productive day of the year for the American workforce, which focuses more on basketball scores than their duties to their employer.

The tournament unites us, excites us and gives us all something to talk about.

Yes, Jase, it’s on and most of us are watching.

Contact Dave Poe at dpoe@newsandsentinel.com