I needed today. The winds and snow of the first day of spring have been chased away by the sparkling sun, budding trees, chattering birds. A vase of daffodils on my desk and the room is filled with their sharp-sweet scent. The house is quiet, the expletive-generating machine that is Mike having ventured into other people’s homes for the day, and the four felines blissfully nap on the most cat-hair absorbant surface they can find. Calm and stability regain their footing. A long, cleansing breath centers me.
Because, people, this past weekend was one hell of a shit storm!
It is tempting to pile onto UVA and its historic loss to UMBC (I always thought UMBC was short for “umbilical cord,” but apparently this is really an institution of higher learning), but really there is no room on the pile. Suffice it to say that there is no joy in Charlottesville nor in the hearts of our UVA alums (and eventual aluma) Daniel, Honor, Dan and Ellie.
Nor is there joy in Rivers’ heart, because not only did our seed-total superior lose the overall #1 seed in the first round, he also lost his #4 seed, Wichita State in another shocker. Bounced, he was, as were many of those expected to fall in the first round (Claire, Karen, me), and those where it could have, in a usual year, gone either way (Elaine, Elizabeth, MikeP, Rhyne, Robert).
No one, and I mean NO ONE, could have predicted that Dottie would have gone into the second round with both of her teams intact. Dub was also a surprise, with his #7 and #13 sallying forth, as was Honor, whose #9 and #11 prevailed (go, ACC!). They joined other two-teamers Christine, Dell, Kiran, Pierce, Rebecca and Susan.
Everyone else retained one team, so that at the end of the first round, this is how things stood:
|Christine||Rhode Island (7M)||Kentucky (5S)|
|Daniel||Ohio State (5W)|
|Dell||Michigan State (3M)||Gonzaga (4W)|
|Dottie||UMBC (16S)||Kansas State (9S)|
|Dub||Nevada (7S)||Buffalo (13S)|
|Ellie||West Virginia (5E)|
|Honor||Florida State (9W)||Syracuse (11M)|
|Kiran||Clemson (5M)||Duke (2M)|
|Pierce||Loyola-Chicago (11S)||Texas Tech (3E)|
|Rebecca||Florida (6E)||Seton Hall (8M)|
|Susan||Texas A&M (7W)||Purdue (2E)|
If anyone thought that the second round would be where the 1st round chaos would settle down, that top seeds would prevail and perennial favorites would again be labeld “sweet,” they were as wrong as wrong could be. Wronger than a kimchi and strawberry jam sandwich.
It was a killing field out there, with the second #1 seed, Xavier, held by Jim, exed out and Dell’s #3 Michigan State unceremoniously ejected by Honor’s #11 Syracuse. The Rivermeade Runners’ #2 UNC was ousted by their own grandson/nephew’s #7 Texas A&M. Who among us wouldn’t have loved being a fly on the wall of the Salvato/Blyth house while, as Joe so eloquently put it, “them Aggies mopped the floor with them Tar Heels.” Well, we Tar Heels might have been aggravated by the Aggies, but at least we still have grammar.
Speaking of Joe, his #4 Auburn Tigers were scratched by son-in-law Kiran’s #5 Clemson Tigers. Libby didn’t volunteer for her #3 Tennessee to lose to her son’s #11 Loyola-Chicago (oh, and the now-famous Sister Jean did say that God was on the Ramblers’ side; I guess He could have predicted Dottie’s improbable run, but I’d be mighty pissed if He filled out a bracket in my pool), nor was it expected that Sarah’s #2 Cincinnati would have exited amid the howls of Dub’s #7 Nevada Wolfpack.
Miraculously, Honor’s high-seed ACC duo heads into the third round. Only Pierce and Susan join her there with both teams. We lost Beth, Caroline, Dan, Daniel, Jim, Joe, Libby, the Rivermeade Runners, MikeB, Rebecca and Sarah. And here’s who else remains:
|Dottie||Kansas State (9S)||
|Ellie||West Virginia (5E)||
|Honor||Florida State (9W)||Syracuse (11M)||
|Kiran||Clemson (5M)||Duke (2M)||
|Pierce||Loyola-Chicago (11S)||Texas Tech (3E)||
|Susan||Texas A&M (7W)||Purdue (2E)||
In tonight’s and tomorrow’s games, father will face son, mother will face same son, cousins will spar and we’ll all thank our lucky stars that we’re not Virginia.