- Grove City, Pennsylvania

March 20, 2013

RANDOM THOUGHTS: March Madness is best time of year for sports fanatics

By Corey J. Corbin
Allied News Sports Columnist

OPINION — SO IS THERE any better sporting weekend than the one we’re facing this week?

Yeah, Super Bowl weekend is awesome and Daytona 500 is cool for the NASCAR fans out there, but the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament tops any and all comers.

I know many a sports fan that uses sick and/or vacation days on the first Thursday and Friday of the tourney, so they can watch college hoops all day.

Back in college, I just didn’t go to class those days. I’d make sure I had enough beverages in my room and would order a pizza when I was hungry.

I definitely didn’t emerge from my room between Thursday afternoon and Sunday night with the exception of bathroom breaks and to shower.

With no clear stud teams out there, this year’s tournament could rank among the best ever in terms of upsets.

I plan to be apart of it this year once again.

I’m hoping to watch some games Thursday afternoon while at work -- provided the kids at George Junior want to behave -- and I’m off all day Friday.

So you can guess what I’ll be doing.

ä Speaking of the NCAA tournament and upsets, my initial bracket only features two ‘upsets’ — No. 12 seed Oregon edging Oklahoma State and and No. 11 seed Minnesota clipping UCLA.

I know I said earlier I’m expecting a bunch of upsets, but aside from Oregon and Minnesota, I’ve been way too busy this winter to really get into college basketball, so I don’t really have a clue as to who’s due to be upset or who could pull off the upset.

I can tell you this much, I have Kansas (South), Louisville (Midwest), Miami (East) and New Mexico (West) in the Final Four with Louisville and Kansas meeting in the finals.

The crazy thing is I could see Georgetown (South), Michigan State (Midwest), Indiana (East) or Ohio State (West) also reach the Final Four.

That’s what I mean about how crazy this tournament could be.

No one knows who’s gonna do what.

ä The Big East Tournament happened for the final time in its current make up last weekend and I, for one, am going to miss it.

I never made it to New York City to watch the tourney during my life and I know I’ve missed out.

There’s no bigger tournament in the world and college basketball will be missing a little something next March when many former Big East teams are competing in the American 12 Conference tourney whereever it’s held or in the ACC tourney.

As a college basketball fan and a non-college football fan, I wish there was a way to avoid the mega-conference format college athletics are drifting towards, so that we could save the greatest college basketball conference ever.

I can only hope that the ACC tourney — I’m a Pitt hoops fan — will be as much fun to watch in the years to come as the Big East tournament has been.