Today, I watched an illegal cable TV webstream for the first time. (I’m not running it! I didn’t even find it! I just watched it! Have mercy.) This took place at work. At work! March is the only month in which I would stoop to such levels to watch television. As soon as it’s conference tournament time, all rules go out the window.
This interest only developed once I arrived at Syracuse University. (Unfortunately – had I been a ‘Cuse fan just a few years earlier, I would have cared about their national championship in 2003.) I went to a few games freshman year, and I got season tickets for the other three.
The team saw little success the years I was there (2004-2008): two first-round NCAA Tournament exits, and two NIT appearances. The highlight of my tenure was the 2006 Big East Tournament. We* were a #9 seed, and we went on a legendary run to win the whole thing. We beat UConn in overtime in the second game, and they were ranked #1 in the nation.
I remember skipping class to watch that game on the big screen at the Schine Student Center. Pretty much everyone else on campus did the same. I remember lots of jumping up and down and screaming and being nervous and then celebrating.
The Big East Tournament two years ago brought another awesome ‘Cuse-UConn game. It went into six overtimes. I remember skipping going to bed to watch that game on the TV in my living room. My roommate went to sleep before it was over. I remember lots of quiet squealing and disbelief that it wasn’t ending and then relief when it finally did.
Syracuse plays UConn tomorrow at 7 p.m. I plan on watching it at the Funhouse with my friends. I can’t imagine how it could be more memorable than those other two matchups, but the Orange could find a way.
Soon, it will be Selection Sunday, and the big tournament will be underway. I foresee more game-watching (or at least game-listening) at work and at home. College basketball is what gets me through the winter, and it helps kick off spring with a bang.
* Yes, I am one of those jerks who refers to my favorite team as “we,” as if I had something to do with the team’s performance. Deal.