Sunday, March 19, 2006

Civil War, Basketball Style

I've created a bracket for the NCAA men's college basketball tournament this year for the first time in a long time, and I fear it might lead to civil war.

I don't follow college ball much, but I did watch as many Texas games as I could this season, and caught most of the end-of-year conference championships. I'm doing a lot better than I could have ever expected, since most of my picks were based on "Gee, I like that state" sorts of reasons. I'm currently number 2 in my online group of people mostly from

I've got a dilemma coming up, though -- LSU plays Duke in the Sweet 16. I sweated over that one while filling out my bracket because I did go to LSU for a semester and my family are a bunch of die-hard Tiger Fans. I'd love to see LSU do well, but I thought (and still think) Duke is probably going to win. I won't be shocked if it goes the other way, and I'll be very happy for my brothers, but unfortunately that will set up a big conflict during the Elite Eight.

That would mean Louisiana State University would then play the University of Texas in the next round, assuming UT makes it past West Virginia. More significantly, I would be an unwilling participant in a civil war with my family.

You've got to understand how fanatical they are about their Tigers. They have season tickets to the football games and rarely, if ever, miss. Generally speaking, death is the only acceptable reason for an absence, and technically only the demise of the actual person holding the ticket is a valid excuse. Direct blood relatives might qualify, depending on just how close the blood is.

My brother-in-law Jimmy actually stops his vehicle on the LSU-arch-rival University of Alabama campus during family vacation drives between Virginia (where he lives now) and Baton Rouge so they can all go to the bathroom there. He tells his kids "If you're gonna leave it anywhere, leave it at 'Bama."

Roll Tide, indeed.

So I'd be completely torn. I'd want LSU to win because I know how happy it would make my family. But I'm a UT fan now, and I very much want them to win, too. Of course this all assumes UT makes it past West Virginia, which is going to be very difficult anyway ... Oh well, I guess the best thing is for me to root for LSU against Duke and let the chips fall where they may; my family's more important than a sport, after all.

Unfortunately I'm not so sure they feel the same way about me ... Ah, to hell with it -- HOOK 'EM HORNS!!


The Cow Whisperer said...

Don't worry Jeff, it took last minute heroics by LSU to sink a 3 pointer to beat the lowly Aggies. Now, the ags are MUCH IMPROVED under their new coach (and yes, they beat Texas last time at Reed Arena...) Still the last time the Aggies even made it to the tournament was about the time current players were born. They are by no means March Madness Royalty.....and it took LSU some serious jump shot heroics to beat them.

Duke IS March Madness Royalty, with many generations of lineage. There will be no civil war in your family because "dey ain't no way dem Tigers beats dem Devils."

Come to think of it, UT better show up big time against West Virginia. I want to see a rematch with Duke.

Jeff Hebert said...

I'd say both Duke and Texas have their work cut out for them. Both teams have looked like world-beaters one game, and like crap the next, especially as the season wore on. LSU has that Davis kid, "Big Baby", who's as sweet around the basket as any big man I've seen in a long time. That could give Duke trouble. Duke's looked rough at the end of the year, and an athletic team like LSU could give them fits.

As for Texas, granted they already beat WVU once this year, but it was a one-point win. This is a tough team. Pitsnogle is the real deal and their outside shooting can be devastating. They spread the floor, which means the Longhorn big men (their strength) are going to have to cover the perimeter. That negates a lot of Texas' strengths.

Anyway, I did pick Duke to beat LSU and Texas to come out of their bracket, though I didn't have WVU making it this far. So a Duke-Texas matchup would be good for my online group picks. And I do think Texas has a good chance to beat Duke if it comes down to it, that 30-point blowout earlier in the season notwithstanding.

It's just unfortunate I won't be able to speak to my brothers for weeks. Oh well, such is life :-)

Jimmy Mac said...

Once again,
Here is my circle of trust > O
Here is Jeff >.