Queue *It’s the MOST wonderful time of the yeeeeear*
For some of you, March Madness means absolutely nothing other than possibly an aggressive arrival of spring. But to the majority of us (I mean, of YOU), March Madness is the most exciting time of year – several weeks of non-stop college basketball.
For those of you who know me, you understand that my obsession goes beyond college basketball and to my alma mater – WVU. I got a taste of what going far in the tournament was like while I was there, watching on spring break in Panama City Beach and working for the Athletic Department in 2010 when we reached the Final Four. I loved interviewing these guys for their feature stories, not because they were going to be published, but because it made me that much more of a fan hearing how an inspirational team of Da’Sean Butler, Devin Ebanks, Kevin Jones, Truck Bryant and more felt throughout the entire process.
The best part about college sports is the fact that secretly, everyone is cheering for every team. Whether it’s a “started from the bottom” team like WVU was in 2010, a Cinderella story like Virginia Commonwealth in 2011, or a season-long powerhouse like Kentucky in 2015, fans understand the passion that goes into these games and loves seeing all of them come out on top. They’re not being paid, and for some of them, it may be the last time they play, so this tournament is everything.
That’s what takes me to my bucket list. Initially, my goal was to be in the student section of a college basketball game, just to feel the excitement for myself. Once I did that a time or 200, I added to my bucket list to attend the tournament, at any level. Last year, I attended the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 since it was near home in Cleveland. Although WVU played Kentucky (so we all know how that ended), it was still an unbelievable experience. And that’s what led me now to my most recent bucket list item – to attend the Final Four and National Championship whenever WVU makes it there again. (The sooner the better Huggs 😉 Like this year would be FANTASTIC Oh no… please don’t yell…)
It’s also a great tradition to have with your kids, siblings, parents, significant others, or friends! I took my little brother to his first WVU basketball game in 2009 and we went to the Sweet 16 together in 2015. He’ll also be the first person I call to head to the National Championship with. (Seriously, Huggs… my family traditions are depending on you… no pressure.)
TO ADD TO YOUR BUCKET LIST:
- Go to a college basketball game!
- If you already have, go to the March Madness tournament.
- If you already have, go to the National Championship.
- And if you’ve done none of the above, at least make a damn bracket. I promise, you will appreciate college basketball after that to add D. All of the Above to your Bucket List!
And don’t opt out if you’ve been to an NBA or pro basketball game, assuming it’s “basically the same thing” – it’s absolutely not. There is so much passion in college sports, whether they’re trying to finish off their basketball career with a bang, or trying to get a spot in the NBA Draft. They need their fans, they need their coach and they need the exposure, so you see 100% effort 100% of the time (although Huggs may disagree).
Either way, when WVU wins one day, just know that I’ll die a happy woman with a complete bucket list. Until then, here is a Coach Bob Huggins meme that sums up our luck as a whole…
…and my adorable niece in case you’re on the fence about who to cheer for. 😉