By Ken DeLaat
So, how’s your bracket?
Wow. Kentucky going all the way, huh? Baylor defending their title perhaps?
In the first round 7 teams seeded in double figures advanced including a couple 10’s, 11’s, and 12’s.
Oh and that pesky #15 St Peter’s a team that has shattered the dreams of countless bracketologists.
The second round Saturday saw Baylor go down as well as the departure of #3 Tennessee (Go Blue). I was hoping that Sparty would send the Blue Devils (#2) back to Durham and Coach K into a well deserved retirement, but Duke outlasted them. And I didn’t mention the NIT because even alumni of the schools involved have a hard time generating any enthusiasm for the post season games involving the 32 schools that did not make it into the top 68.
And in Division III the Hope Women’s team finally got their belated and successful run to a national title. (Go Dutch).
I love this time of the year for sports. The tourney runs through early April when baseball debuts and the Masters (the only golf I watch on TV) arrives in the second week.
I also didn’t mention the Stanley Cup games because they don’t start until May and won’t include the Wings (again!) nor did I give a nod to the NBA playoffs that start in April but hold little interest for me anyway but particularly because though there will be 20 teams in the playoffs, representing two thirds of all teams, the Pistons are not among them (again!).
Toss in the fact that the weather, while unpredictable of course, (it is after all Michigan) has taken a turn toward a warmer blend and it’s tough to not feel pretty good about things.
It’s also the time when our local scholar athletes begin their spring seasons, with early events that draw only the most dedicated fans (generally family members) due to the often dicey atmospheric conditions. These plucky preppers take to the diamonds, fields, tracks, courts, and courses in the early season games, matches, and meets often shivering against weather far too chilly it would seem to be pole vaulting in shorts.
Want to brave the elements and appreciate the dedication of these young women and men?
A week from Tuesday the Newaygo Girls Soccer squad play their first match at home. The next day Grant welcomes in White Cloud for baseball/softball doubleheaders. Hesperia’s track team visits the Cloud on April 13th for a Silver conference meet and Girls Tennis begins around the same time for Fremont and Grant.
Personally I plan on getting myself to several contests this spring.
Except for April 8th.
I’m not going anywhere that day.
The Tig’s open their season at home against the White Sox and while it’s been a few years (actually a few decades) since I attended some 9-10 Opening Days in a row I will view this one from the comfort of my front row seat at N3 World Headquarters & Winter Sowing Center.
First pitch scheduled for 1:10pm.
So unless a catastrophe of epic proportions comes along...
I'll be busy that day until about 4:30.
Unless there's extra innings of course.
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