Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's coming

It's a Wednesday and there are twenty two basketball games that will be or have been broadcast in these parts today.

If you don't like college basketball and you live with someone who does and have a relatively small place--it will be a difficult few weeks if you can't control the remote.

This weekend the big conferences and some small fries (notably the America East) will be determining their champions.  Today is a light day compared to the chaos that will be tomorrow with the Big East, ACC, Atlantic 10, SEC, Pac 12, Conference USA, and Big Ten all playing semi final or quarter final games.

Stations that are relatively minor are carrying these games. ESPNU, CBSSN, NBCSN, MyTV--all less than big names are players.  ESPN and ESPN2 will of course have balls bouncing from 7-11 tonight.  If you are on the east coast and are truly a junkie there is a game that will not end until 2 in the morning tonight. If you want to sprinkle in some pro games with the college tilts, TNT is broadcasting from San Antonio and Portland from 8 until 1 a.m. Eastern time.

I am reminded of an incident that I relayed in the book.  It was the end of March Madness weekend in Las Vegas and I was, on Sunday evening, in a hot tub with tourists from Australia.  These guys were wild. They were talking about how they intended to stay up all night, drink til they were barely vertical, find hookers, and engage in various forms of debauchery.  While I am not unfamiliar with people talking about excess, I found it almost uncomfortable to hear these wild plans--as if I should somehow attempt to discourage them from what would eventually, no doubt, at least give them a headache if not some figurative ones.

After they calmed down a bit, they asked me soberly what I was doing in Las Vegas. When I told them that I had just sat through 48 basketball games in four days they looked at me incredulously.  "Why would anyone want to do that?" they asked without intonation.

Here were men who had just talked wildly about uncomfortably crazy behavior, and yet what they found incredible was that anyone would watch 48 games in four days let alone thousands of us.

Well, thousands, have watched parts of the 22 games today, more tomorrow, as many on Saturday.  Hundreds of thousands will watch the NCAA selection show on Sunday night.  And then from Tuesday on, look out.  March madness will take over.

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