The annual “I love this time of year” post.

Yesterday I realized I’m not really a bracket kind of girl. Last year Mike and I filled out brackets, just so we could talk smack to one another. We had a good time, but it didn’t mean a whole lot. This year I printed off brackets and we dutifully filled them out. But then, yesterday, I realized, I don’t like rooting for a team just because I picked them on my brackets. I’d rather just root for the underdog, regardless of what it might mean. (I don’t have any money on this, just competitiveness. Which undoubtedly makes it easier. Though I am a very competitive person.) So I cheered for Winthrop (didn’t pick them, was SICK when that game was over) and UNCW (picked them, was SICK when that game was over) and Xavier (that would have really screwed up my brackets, but I would have been happy to see Gonzaga lose). I can’t get over cheering for the underdog. I’ve decided that’s okay, that it’s more a part of me than the brackets are. And I’m still hoping a #15 will beat a #2. Go Davidson! Go Pennsylvania! hehe.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this season more than I have in a long time. Maybe it was my lowered expectations (maybe you haven’t heard, but Carolina lost its top seven scorers. And if you haven’t heard, you haven’t watched a Carolina basketball game, because they say it eighteen times per game), maybe it was because we won last year, but every win this year felt like a gift, and the losses weren’t as many as we expected them to be. Plus, we beat Duke in Cameron. On JJ’s senior night. Good times.

So, last weekend, it didn’t bother me so much that we lost to Boston College. I feel so good about the season already, happy that we’re going to the big dance, that those feelings overshadowed the loss. In fact, it was probably really good for me that BC went on to the final game. A few years ago, Boston College knocked Carolina out of the NCAA Tournament in the second round. Since that time, whenever their name was mentioned, I would get a little bit angry. When they were mentioned as possible additions to the ACC, I refused to accept that it could happen. All season, I have been in denial about the fact that they are actually in our conference. And yet, as we watched Carolina play them on Saturday afternoon, I turned to Mike and said, “I would love for Carolina to win, but I’m rooting for the winner of this game regardless.” And I did. So, to sum up, I hated Boston College, I refused to admit they are even in our conference, and yet I cheered for them against Duke without even the slightest hesitation. Truly, To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever. (I can’t wait to read that book.) And now I don’t have any problem accepting them fully into the ACC. I had no problems cheering for them yesterday (and not just because of the bracket, but because I cheer ACC sans Duke). I needed to have to cheer for them in order to get over my past dislike. It has all worked out for the good.

On Sunday, on the way to church, Mike pointed out that before he was with me, he didn’t even know who Dean Smith was. And that he thought that he was supposed to cheer for all North Carolina teams, so he would have cheered for both Carolina and Duke. Clearly, I have brought him into the light, so much so that he stayed up last night to watch the last few games without me.

Today is my day off, so I’ll be watching basketball until I head over to Susan’s this afternoon. Have I mentioned that I love this time of year? Breathe in the sweet smells of spring and basketball. It’ll be over before you know it.

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