It’s Game Day Baybee!!

As anyone who is even an acquaintance knows, I LOVE March Madness. I love the drama, the passion, the stories, the Cinderellas, the athleticism, the coaches, the games. I love the underdogs pulling the upset, I love the team that puts it all together, I love the game planning and counter-planning. I love it all.

And of course, a big part of March Madness is filling out your brackets. You can do it at CBS, or at ESPN, or as part of countless office pools, online pools, and friend-to-friend pools.

I do mine as part of the ESPN Challenge. They’ve got one for men and one for women, and you can enter multiple brackets. I usually do at least three different brackets for both men and women:

  • an Almost Chalk one (the way I actually think it will turn out)
  • an Upset Special (throw in some likely upsets along the way)
  • an Emotional Favorite one (one of my teams makes a deep run that isn’t expected)

So, if you want to see my brackets so far, make the jump and see if you agree:

Congrats to UK!

Just saw this headline at, of all places, the GoVols web site:

Kentucky sweeps All-SEC for player and coach in women’s basketball

The SEC announced its women’s basketball postseason awards Tuesday, highlighted by Kentucky’s Victoria Dunlap being named Player of the Year and Matthew Mitchell being named Coach of the Year.

I am thrilled to see Coach Mitchell get the recognition he deserves. And Dunlap is clearly the POY in the SEC this year.

Here’s my comment on the story at the GoVols site:

Pearl Does the Unthinkable

I’ve been a Vol fan for a long, long time — over 45 years. As such, I’ve seen some amazing Vol moments. But one happened this weekend that deserves some recognition, some attention. In fact, it’s almost unprecedented. You ready? Here’s the first part:

Bruce Pearl’s Vol team won 20 games for the fifth year in a row.

I know, I know — here in the land of Big Red and Big Blue, no one gets excited until it’s time to hang a banner. A 20-win season is the minimum that’s expected. But at UT, where men’s basketball has traditionally been the 3rd most important sport (behind football and women’s basketball), those 20-win seasons have been few and far between. Five in a row? Only Don Devoe did it before now.

But here’s the real record-setting second part:

So, You Think You’re a Kentucky Basketball Fan?

You can quote every one of Wall’s statistics, and you’ve got Demarcus Cousins’ cell phone number. You’ve got Kentucky jackets and shirts and t-shirts and underwear. You not only can name the years when Kentucky won the national championship, you can name the starting five for each of those teams.

You’re a walkin’ talkin’ Blueblood Fan of the Blue for Life, right? So tell me this — what do you know about that OTHER Kentucky team? The one that plays Tennessee on Thursday, not Saturday? The team that is having its best season in years?

That’s right, you misbegotten misogynist — what do you know about the LADY Wildcats?

I’ll Never Call Him “Eddie Munster” Again

Being a Vol fan, I naturally cheer against all things Florida. The animosity is good-natured — this is sports, people — but still, a win over Florida is always extra-special. And for years, I’ve joined Vol fans in calling Billy Donovan, the Florida men’s basketball coach, the wonderfully appropriate sobriquet of “Eddie Munster.” If you’ve seen pictures of both gentlemen, you’ll immediately see why.

After the events of this past weekend, I have sworn that off. When it comes to Billy Donovan, it’s ixnay on the unstermay stuff. In fact, I have a new respect for Mr. Donovan. Make the jump to see why.

Skylar McBee!!

You want to know why I love college sports? You want to know why I keep loving it, even in the face of egotistical coaches, colleges selling their souls, and players suspended for majoring in stupidity? It’s because of stories like THIS:

A Vol Fan Puts On Some Blue

If you are one of the chosen few who actually read this blog on a regular basis, you’ll know that I am a Big Orange fan from way, way back. (About 45 years, to be specific.) I can wax poetic about the 1985 Orange Bowl upset of Miami, can tell you all about the national championship season, can even regale you with tales of John Ward and Ray Mears. In short, I’m a Vol fan through and through. So grab Smokie’s leash and keep Pat Summitt away from me, because I’m about to say something heretical:

I hope Kentucky wins on Saturday.