Mike the Mailman: March Magnificence
It's finally here. The office pool that attracts basketball and non-basketball fans alike to try their skill and/or luck at the bracketology.
I've been told that there is usually a winning pot at the end that the winner gets to enjoy, but I really think bragging rights for the rest of the year is why so many people get caught up in this magnificent madness.
March offers more than great tournament basketball on the sports front — there's spring training for Major League Baseball, and one of my favorites, this upcoming weekend, St Louis will be hosting the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. This will be the second year in a row I'll be in attendance for this event.
Last year, I was in Philadelphia to watch our Nittany Lions win it all. I'm hopeful for the same outcome this year. Tthe Nits are definitely a contender. No pressure guys.
I can remember when I was growing up in Lock Haven, my parents would let me go over to Lock Haven University (Lock Haven Teacher College, at the time) and I would watch the matches there. I've been a fan ever since.
What's also great about this upcoming weekend is the matches are set up as follows: three days, six sessions, two each day (Thursday-Saturday) with four hours in between each session. This allows the fan who's watching time to get familiar with the city that is hosting the tournament. Last year I went all over the City of Brotherly Love and got photos with the Liberty Bell as well as the Rocky Statue. Who knows what shots and stories I'll come back with from St. Louis.
One of my favorite wrestling quotes is. "The best thing about a basketball court are wrestling mats from wall to wall." Because I enjoy the friendly competition of all sporting events, I am just as excited for the kick-off of March Madness.
Ladies and gentlemen, get your brackets ready, here are my Final Four picks for both the men and women's NCAA Tournament. I must mention that I have to constantly remind myself to pick with my head and not with my heart.
In alphabetical order (ladies first), for the women: Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Stanford (though I will be rooting all the way for our beloved Lady Lions).
As for the men: Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio State. My sister lives in Ashville, N.C ., so I am also cheering hard for the UNC Ashville team to shine as an underdog.
To all of the Penn State athletes competing and fans watching this upcoming week and weekend, have fun and let the madness begin.