Saturday, March 14, 2015

March Mindless

Though this be madness, yet there is method, Shakespeare.

March, 1987. Syracuse...Indiana. NCAA Finals. A late basket by Keith Short won it for the Hoosiers, after SUs improbable run had electrified the campus. On Marshall Street in downtown Syracuse revelers partied until almost dawn. I went back to my Con Law text  book.

February, 1997. Keith Van Horn, center for Utah, hits a buzzer beater to win the semi-final game of the WAC tournament.The next night he does the same thing, winning the WAC. On a business trip in San Diego my wife and I watch in our Embassy Suites hotel room.

March, 2006. We are sitting in a bar on Sanibel Island watching The Orange take on hated Georgetown. Patrons agnostic about the outcome surround us, until our infectious fandom takes over. Suddenly there is pandemonium as Syracuse forces overtime, then wins by a point.

March, 2015. Syracuse watches while others play for titles and glory. A scandal - the Orange have violated NCAA rules for a decade or more.

March, 2015, Westrail Tap and Grill. Xavier goes out to an early lead against Georgetown. Over milk stouts and pub food we cheer on the Musketeers.

The sins of omission and commission that has led Syracuse to sit out this tournament, to forfeit wins a decade in the past and sully the reputation of an honorable institution and a fine coach are regrettable. We will not see my alma mater play in The Dance this year.

But roundballs are bouncing on hardwood. Men and women celebrate the high point of their careers one night, and hang their heads in defeat the next. It is time for college basketball's spring tournament.

Get your shit together, SU. This better not happen again.

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