Thursday, April 09, 2009

Loser of Fun, Winner of Life!

I'm a couple of days late with this, as the opening week of baseball season has swamped me. But as awful as Monday night was, from a sports standpoint - with the Tigers losing their opener, 9-5, and Michigan State losing the NCAA basketball championship game (to North Carolina!), 89-72 (and the game wasn't even that close) - there was a little ray of sunshine among all the clouds.

I won a NCAA tournament bracket! To be more specific, I won the bracket put together by Dan Levy and his On the DL podcast. You can view the final standings here, though I believe you need to be registered with to view the page. I can't remember if I've ever won a bracket, though I recall coming close back in high school (and actually nabbing some prize money).

The bittersweet irony of the win, of course, is that the result that gave me the victory was the exact opposite of the outcome I was rooting for. The total surprise of it all is that I had written myself off, as I was way down toward the bottom of the standings after the third round of the tournament. As Dan pointed out on Tuesday's podcast, I came out of nowhere to steal the win. Getting the final two teams right (and, of course, the champion) will do that, I suppose.

And here I thought MSU was kind of a homer pick (while raising the flag for the Big Ten conference). However, I did think - as I said to several of my friends - that coach Tom Izzo does not waste a team. He knows how to coach through the postseason tournament, but if he has the talent and experience on his roster to win, they will get there. This year's run proved that yet again. MSU just happened to run into the best team in college basketball at the end.

Thanks to Dan for running the bracket for his listeners (and if you're a sports fan, you really should be listening to On the DL) and for being good to me as a sports blogger. What a pleasant surprise this has been.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I would like to dance.