today, UW beat illinois to get to the sweet sixteen - against either u conn or kentucky. what a strange, intense game! what a nervous, nail-biting ending! and what a sweet bracket!
i got interested in college basketball as an undergrad, at ucla, my freshman year in 1986. it was fun to party with friends in rieber hall and then stumble down bruin walk to the legendary pauley pavilion. ucla had the skinniest, most trash talkin', most clutch shootin' player i had ever seen - reggie miller - and it was a thrill to watch him shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.
but i really caught the college bball bug as a grad student, at the university of maryland, sometime between 1995 and 1996. going to games with q-dog (aka kelly quinn, one of the best college teachers i know), we spent years watching laron profit (prof), terrance morris (t-rock), steve francis (whoa), juan dixon (who now plays for the portland trailblazers), steve blake (ditto, also with portland), and chris wilcox (who now plays, i think, for the seattle sonics). watching stevie francis, even if it was for only one season, was a thing of beauty. it was also pretty sweet to watch all those ACC superstars - like tim duncan, vince carter, stephon marbury, and an endless stream of ballers from duke.
here at UW, it's been fun to watch the games, especially in the last two or three years. at the same time, it's sort of frustrating - i wish the university of washington spent the same amount of energy on teaching students that they do on entertaining students.
sweet sixteen - sweet! congrats, guys, and good luck.