Big Dance’ causes early warning letter to ’08 profs.

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

An open letter to my professors for next semester:

In March of 2008 I hereby give an early warning of what my actions will be. Due to the wonder that is the NCAA basketball tournament I am formally reserving the right to do the following: A. not to attend class if need be; B. take tests in the month of April (after the Masters, that is); C. homework may or may not be done; and D. at any time I may text, talk, look and day dream about my bracket.

Below are my reasons:

10. The second Sunday of every March is like Christmas coming early for me. At approximately 7 p.m. Eastern Time, CBS (and two seconds later, ESPN) tells the nation who the luckiest 65 teams in the nation are. Seeing teams erupt with hugs and high-fives in a living room or with an arena filled with fans is the definition of happiness. This is where the nation learns which teams will wear the “glass slipper” for that year.

9. Even before the draw is announced, there are four days of glorious basketball when teams compete for the conference championships. Last year that weekend happened during spring break; I hardly left the sofa even for the bathroom. This is a second chance for many teams, because unlike in college football, if a team wins their conference tourney; they are in!

8. The emotions: the tears, smiles, hugs, kisses and sheer determination of the players are very beautiful to witness. Not only are the players emotional, but coaches also wear their heart on their sleeve; just look at their post-game press conferences when they lose/win. Bobby Knight has the best ever, win or lose.

7. For the love of the game: these young men are not earning $8.6 million dollars a year plus a Nike contract worth $2 million more. These amateurs go out and play their hearts out just because they know it may be their last very soon. (Enter John Madden voice here:) Now, now, if one team loses, then boom, season over!

6. Small schools such as Vermont, Albany and Sienna have chances to host league championship games at their University. ESPN and the family of networks airs these games, and it is great to see the student body rush the court and celebrate the fact that they are “dancing.”

5. The tournament brings amazing games, and some end up being upsets. When two teams square off, everything that happened before then is thrown out; from time to time, David beats the big bad Goliath and the whole country watches. For example, in 1998 when 13th-seeded Valparaiso beat No. 4 Mississippi in the first round of the tourney. Valpo. guard Bryce Drew hit a three-pointer to win the game and then gave a hug to his dad-who was his coach. Pure poetry in motion.

4. One shining moment. While this three-minute plus song and video takes place in April, it still is my favorite time of the year. After the championship nets are cut and CBS interviews everyone, highlights are shown about the “top plays” and amazing events of the previous NCAA basketball. It is great story telling; thank you, CBS.

3. Every one is into it! CNN reports that $1.4 billion are lost in work productivity, and who knows how much money is changing hands with betting? Nearly every office or a gathering of people has set up a pool with every one an “expert” in picking this year’s bracket buster.

2. One true champion: the ultimate dream of any team (or six-year-old in his driveway) is to make it to the promise land in the final four. At the final four, teams can actually earn a national title on the court, unlike college football and the BCS. Once there is only one team left standing that school will go down in history as hands-down the best team to play that year.

1. The most exciting part of the tourney is that unlike most events, the first part is way better than last. At the start of Big Dance, 65 teams have their dreams set on cutting down the net and being crowned as National Champ. The first two days are filled with 32 glorious games full of unarguably the best 40 minutes in all of sports history.