It seems as if there have been many more upsets in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament than last year.
Oh, wait. There wasn’t an NCAA men’s basketball tournament last year.
Naturally, this year’s in “a bubble.” I think this is a figurative term. The forms it takes are all in Indianapolis or thereabouts. It makes me think of “Back Home Again in Indiana” at The 500-Mile Race.
… When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash / How I long for my Indiana home …
In all my travels, I’ve never seen a basketball game in Indiana, though I stopped to take a look inside at the arenas of Butler and Purdue. I went to a Colts exhibition football game one time at the old Hoosier Dome (demolished in 2008), and one of my favorite minor-league baseball venues is Victory Field in Indy.
Also, once upon a time, I happened upon a small dome where Frankfort High School plays basketball. It is the Home of the Hot Dogs. I kid you not. Chili probably costs extra in that part of the country.
Other than that, it’s that humongous race track on the northwest side of town.
The surprising number of upsets suggests that the difference between big and small schools is mainly atmosphere. This year’s tournament doesn’t have all the crowds roaring, cheerleaders cheering, bands playing and pompons swishing. The Abilene Christians and the Oral Robertses don’t have to cope with atmospheres as hostile and disorienting. That, plus, they probably pray a lot.
Praise the Lord and drain the three!
All season long I have been laughing at the notion that there is any such thing as a home-court advantage in a vacant or sparsely populated arena. Commentators act as if they have forgotten this.
“It gets tougher now for the Birdwatchers. They’ve got to to play the Hot Dogs in the Frankfort Dome.”
Indiana, where the moonlight flickers on the Wabash, is in the heart of the Big 10, which, as these words were written, had two teams left dancing in the glow of that waterway.
It’s made me happy. When in doubt, I always root for the underdog, and there was only one team in the whole bracket for which I felt much allegiance. I didn’t fill one out. No one asked me. That saved me a few bucks, I reckon.