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Mad about the month of March

The ball is tipped. There you are. You’re living for your life. You’re a shooting star. All those years, no one knows just how hard you worked, but now it shows. That one shining moment, you reached deep inside. In one shinning moment you knew you were alive.”

If you know the significance of those lyrics and the song in which they’re found, I am officially inviting you join my club called, “I am obsessed with March Madness/NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”

Just to bring everyone to speed, the song is called “One Shining Moment” and plays in the background during the video clips at the end of the tournament as the championship team is celebrating.



I will admit that I have this song on a CD and I will also admit that it is not just played during March. Sometimes, say in the middle of August, with the basketball season months away, I will whip out the song and think about the glorious time I will enjoy in March.

It is during this month that I can eat, sleep and breathe college basketball and it’s pretty much a socially acceptable state of mind.




If you haven’t already figured it out, college basketball is hands down my favorite sport, which means March Madness is my favorite sporting event.

I realize that some of you nonbelievers of the magic of March Madness are questioning why I love this time of the year so much.

If only I had enough room to count all of the reasons.

I think perhaps the biggest reason I love the tournament is because for three weeks, I am able to watch amazing basketball games. For someone who loves the sport as much as I do, nothing is better than seeing two talented teams play an exciting and competitive game of basketball, even if I have no particular tie to either team. >

It’s all about the pure love of the sport.

Another one of my favorite things about March Madness is that special things tend to happen in the tournament. Teams that have no business playing with historic programs like Duke or North Carolina, find a way to do so and the most unlikely of stars emerge to hit big-time shots or make game-breaking plays. By the third round of the tournament, seeds are virtually useless and the team that plays better and wants the game more will win, even if they are not supposed to win.

This brings me to another one of my favorites: the upsets.

Admit it people, we all love to see the upsets (unless it is your favorite team that is the one upended). Watching the underdog, rise up to slay the dragon (and actually predicting which underdog is capable of doing so) makes this tournament the heaven on earth it is.

Some of you have probably determined by now that I have an unhealthy love for March Madness, but I will let you in on a little secret: there are millions of other people like me out there.

For the past two months, terms like “bubble teams,” “bracket busters” and “upset specials” have slipped through my dreams, causing me to awake in the morning to count how many more days until the tournament begins.

I have had Selection Sunday penciled in on my calendar since January.

It wouldn’t be March Madness either, without discussing filling out brackets and entering a pool with your friends. Word on the street is that entering a pool is illegal, especially if you are Rick Neuheisel, so I’m not be able to discuss entering a pool for fear of losing my right arm to the gambling-control Nazis that must somehow rule this country.

I can, however, talk about filling out a bracket for my own enjoyment – my guide for which teams to cheer for in each and every game.

Watching the tournament without having filled out a bracket is like trying to get excited about a political race without voting.

If you don’t vote or have your bracket guide in front of you, neither experience really seems that significant or important.

I am aware that I just gushed about March Madness for 700 words, but you know what? I felt it was something that had to be done. If my column makes just one of you out there excited about March Madness – then I have accomplished my mission.

So if you are driving around Nevada County this week and see me with the windows down and “One Shining Moment” blaring – give me a friendly honk to let me know that you, too, feel are feeling the excitement of March.

ooo

Stacy Hicklin is a sportswriter at The Union. She may be reached via e-mail at stacyh@theunion.com or by phone at 477-4244.


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