Three point shots, dunks, blocks, tears of joy, band-a-rockin’, fan-a-cryin’, euphoric hugs and, of course, broken brackets.
The NCAA tournament never fails.
Unsurprisingly, television networks reported that the tournament had its most-watched first round on Thursday and Friday.
But this time it’s different. The Bluebloods are out; new bloods are in.
I’d say I don’t see the color, but let’s not be ridiculous.
For the second time in three years, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke and Kansas will miss Week Two of the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels didn’t even make it to prom.
ESPN researchers say this is only the fourth time since the Sweet 16 became a thing in 1951 that none of those big boys are in the Sweet 16.
FYI: The fact that they all wear blue isn’t why they’re called bluebloods. If so, the no. 1 Alabama and Houston would be known as redbloods. (Insert your own Deep South jokes here.)
Incidentally: UH’s scarlet team color is derived from the sigil of Sam Houston’s ancestor, Sir Hugh, and represents “the blood of royalty which was spared through the timely arrival of Sir Hugh and the blood which is the source of soul life.” OK.
Apparently, Sir Hugh was a war hero in Scotland in 1150, 150 years before Sir William Wallace (according to Mel Gibson) said: “Every man dies. Not all men truly live.
Apart from no. 2: The UH hand symbol came about because cougar Shasta got stuck in a car door and lost a toe when UH was en route to a football game in Texas in 1953. Jerks Longhorns mocked the cat injured by raising hands while holding down a ring finger during play.
If the oddsmakers are right, UH will have the opportunity to give UT the (missing) finger in the Elite Eight this weekend.
As the UH fight song goes, when the going gets this rough and tough, the Cougars never worry because they’ve got the stuff.
This is old school rap.
Wait, where were we?
Oh, Houston and Alabama, which took first place during the season, are still alive. North Carolina and Purdue, the other two teams that took first place this year, are out of the tournament.
New blood, baby.
Purdue is not a blue blood nor does he wear a blue jersey. The No. 1 seed Boilermakers, embarrassed by Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round, sport an ugly gold/black/grey combination.
I know you’re wondering why Purdue wears those colors. Well, way back in 1887, the year my great-grandmother Queen Riley was born, the Boilermakers were about to play a football game and realized that the then 13-year-old school had no distinguishing colors.
The team captain wanted to go with orange and black, the colors of the best team in the country, but after a three-minute debate, a student-faculty committee decided on gold and black instead.
Why do we go there?
Well, then the best football team in the country was Princeton.
Yep, the same Princeton that beat Arizona and Missouri to become just the fourth #15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in NCAA Tournament history.
Don’t you love this madness?
And what is a Florida Atlantic, and why is it still alive in the Tournament?
He’s playing good basketball, that’s why.
Ever heard of the school? Don’t feel bad. FAU has only been in Division I for 30 years.
This is only FAU’s second trip to the NCAA Tournament. His wins over Memphis and Fairleigh Dickinson are firsts in the event.
You probably didn’t know that the first degree bestowed by the school was an honorary doctorate in 1964 to President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was born in Stonewall, Texas, just west of Austin.
Which brings us to the University of Texas.
Work with me, folks.
Forget the finger clowns of the 1950s. The Longhorns, under interim head coach Rodney Terry, are a feast for the eyes.
If Houston beats Miami and Texas beats Xavier on Friday, the two-on-three-finger battle on Highway 290 will take place in Kansas City on Sunday.
Who needs blue bloods when we could have red bloods and orange bloods playing for a trip to the Final Four in Houston?
One thing that makes the NCAA Tournament unique is that there are so many teams and so much to cheer for; 68 voices, from coast to coast, from the largest of the schools to the smallest, from the names you know to those you don’t.
If Cher, who thanks to Jim Boeheim’s retirement from Syracuse is older than any college basketball coach, can date a man 40 years her junior and the earth keeps turning, can the NCAA Tournament survive without perennial powers in the Sweet 16.
Blue, red, black… colors don’t matter. This is going to be a big week.
Now, if you like colors, bet on red (Alabama, UH), orange (Tennessee) and Beach Boyish UCLA blue and gold, which is inspired by “the blue of the sea and the sky and the gold of the sun and of wildflowers”. .”