Last night I flipped on the first round of March Madness, knowing that Big Ten overload notwithstanding, the evening would produce at least one thrilling contest. I was not disappointed, as hot-shooting Siena knocked off Ohio State after 2 barnburner overtimes. Wisconsin also made the evening interesting with their come-from-behind, overtime victory over favored Florida State.
Watching the merry-go-round of games in Round 1 of the Big Dance, along with the ensuing Final Four and Championship game, is a yearly ritual for me. My dad got me into it. He and I are still the only ones at home that really enjoy watching sports on TV. But everyone else in the family knew they had to participate in one Family Home Evening a year where we watched the Championship Round, since it fell on a Monday night.
Early memories of the tournament include Tark the Shark, his towel, and his unstoppable Runnin' Rebels who trounced Duke in the 1990 title game. I also remember Seton Hall being pretty good, which meant I could have started taking interest in the tournament as early as 1989. An exceedingly archaic but useful site bracketville.tripod.com helped me reconstruct this important piece of my life's timeline. (Somehow it didn't make the scrapbook.)
Other memorable moments of tournaments past include Christian Laettner's last-second heave against Kentucky in 1992, Michigan's Fab Five in the early 90's, Utah's unlikely run to the finals in 1998, and 14th-seeded Bucknell knocking off Kansas in 2005. Last year saw its own set of thrills with Mario Chalmers' three that saved the Jayhawks and sent the final game into overtime. This game happened during our spring vacation in Washington where the family was once again gathered around the screen.
Do these bring to mind any great tournament moments for you? What's your earliest memory of the Big Dance? Post it here!