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The Madness is mesmerizing — and it was missed – Press Telegram

Welcome back, March Madness ™. We miss you.

This is true madness: loud, noisy arenas, buzzers, legitimate ashes, even a supposed advantage on the local court (or at least the local crowd) in an otherwise neutral tournament.

We didn’t really have it last year, when all the men’s games were in a bubble in Indianapolis, the women’s tournament took place in the San Antonio area, the audience was limited and socially distanced, and everything was tightly closed for obvious reasons. And we had nothing in 2020, when the cancellation of conference tournaments came at the beginning of a massive blockade and the loss of the national tournament became an early symbol of our deprivation.

We can, and almost certainly will, debate whether COVID-19 is completely in our past. As the mandates for masks and vaccines are lifted in this country, the BA.2 subvariant is gaining ground in Europe, and what begins there invariably ends here. Therefore, it is too early to celebrate the end of the pandemic, just as it was last June when we felt liberated from COVID only to quickly discover the opposite.

However, it is safe to say that in view of what has happened before, what may be before us, and all that is going on in the world these days, we need this magnificent distraction as much if not more than ever.

The NCAA Tournament rarely disappoints. Unless, of course, it’s your support that’s broken or your alma mater or your favorite team leaving home early, or that bet – whether legal or not – that seemed safe until you didn’t. it was. (More on that below).

“Nothing can break March Madness,” Charles Barkley told CBS Sunday morning. By the way, give Chuck credit. When TNT NBA announcers were added to the NCAA Tournament teams a few years ago, Barkley was absolutely unprepared to talk about college basketball. He is much better now.

Saint Peter’s, Jersey City, NJ, a university with just over 3,000 students, is now a sensation at night in its 92nd interuniversity basketball season following consecutive Kentucky and Murray State upheavals. The Peacocks have appeared in the NIT12 times (beating the first round twice) and actually won the CollegeInsider.com (CIT) tournament in 2017.

Now it’s the American’s Darlings, and their next game will be in Philadelphia, maybe an hour and a half down I-95. Do you think they will have the crowd by your side?

And that’s probably a feat, but keep in mind: another little-known Jesuit institution made an unexpected tournament 24 years ago, defeating Minnesota, Stanford and Florida before losing to eventual Connecticut national champion Elite Eight. Attention – and, among other things, increased donations and tuition – gave enough momentum for Gonzaga to make his way to where he is now, a national brand and a powerhouse of basketball.

Will St. Peter ever be able to approach that? Who knows, but what a chance this is.

Thursday and Friday reminded us why the first two days of the NCAA Tournament, with wall-to-wall basketball from morning to night, are the best days of the sports year. This is especially true in Las Vegas, where five-league conference tournaments have dominated the landscape for a week and a half before giving way to those who, say, indirectly experience these games.



The Madness is mesmerizing — and it was missed – Press Telegram Source link The Madness is mesmerizing — and it was missed – Press Telegram

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