Friday, March 20, 2009

First Round Jitters

How fortunate I am to have a daughter that works at Gonzaga University and is willing to go stand in line at ungodly hours to get tickets so I can see live games at the McCarthy Center. Spokanites can testify to the fact that tickets are very hard to come by and pricey to say the least. I have gotten to take in 3, count them, THREE games. Thanks, Whit!

Needless to say I have become a true Zagmaniac. I rarely miss the televised games and cringe in frustration when they are moved to ESPNU which almost no one in Spokane has access to. I love being at McCarthy with the crazy Kennel Club which makes it too loud to talk over. I enjoy watching the players mature and become "stars" of sorts. Too much fun.

So my Zags are once again in the NCAA tourney. They have had first round stumbles the last two years, so I was getting nervous for them before the game ever started. They came in as a #4 seed this year - best placement ever. They were playing an Akron team who had no tourney history. Should have been a walkover. BUT, it IS March Madness. And it IS the crazy first round where Cinderella teams blossom (i.e. Davidson last year). And the team seemed to have first round jitters, too. Akron lead a good portion of the first half as Gonzaga looked like deer in headlights. I was pacing. Had to leave the room a couple times. Hid behind the couch at one point repeating the mantra, "We're a second half team, we're a second half team". Seriously, I thought I might have a mini breakdown. But the boys are back. They wore Akron down and won rather decisively after keeping the Zips from scoring for 24 minutes. PHEW! I can breathe again.

On to Round 2. The expected rival would have been Illinois, but they fell to Western Kentucky last night. Could be good for the Zags. I'm hoping their jitters and mine won't be evident on Saturday. On to the Sweet Sixteen!


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