March 26, 2014

Direct Kick: Wild, whacky March Madness

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Everyone whose bracket has been busted raise their hands. Yup, thought so. I can’t count that high.

Wow, has this been a crazy tournament or what. March Madness, indeed. Mercer beats Duke. Syracuse fell, as did Kansas, Ohio State, Creighton, Villanova and previously unbeaten Wichita State, as Kentucky is finally playing like the team everyone thought they could be. I said last week that they could go all the way to the Elite 8, and heck, why not the Final Four?

Several of those teams that lost I had advancing deep into the tournament. The good news is my Final Four picks are still alive.

In the one pool that I am in, I went from 10th to tied for first back to 10th all in two days. That’s how crazy this tournament has been.

I’m not that huge of a college basketball fan. I watch a handful of games during the regular season, but I do tune in once the tournaments begin because they are the only thing that matters.

Kentucky started looking good in its win over LSU in the SEC Tournament. Had it not been for an unfortunate slip, they might have beaten Florida in the finals. Now the Wildcats have to face Louisville in the Sweet 16 Friday and this should be quite a game.

I picked UK and UofL to meet in this game, and I also picked Louisville to win the game. I stand by it, but I’m not as confident as I was last week when I filled out my bracket.

My Final Four has Florida, Arizona, Michigan State and Louisville, with the Gators beating the Cardinals in the championship game. Of course since I picked it that means it won’t happen.

I would like to meet the person who had Dayton playing Stanford in the Sweet 16. That’s how crazy of a tournament this has been. An 11th and 10th seed playing for the right to go to the Elite 8.

And how about the SEC having three teams in the Sweet 16. For a league that everyone said was weak, Florida, UK and Tennessee are proving them wrong. The Big 10 and the Pac 10 also have three teams remaining in the tournament.

It should be another fun week.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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