The Madness of March

The middle of March is here, which means that two of the greatest tournaments in America are currently under way: the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the slightly less known but no less competitive Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam .

At Youth Speaks, we say “the point is not the points, the point is the poetry.” Which is true. And also which is why I love the NCAA Tourney, where the point is without a doubt the goddamn points. As in: Maryland 64, Indiana 52. The score of the 2002 championship that Maryland, led by the damn-he’s-even-skinnier-than-me-maybe-I-can-play-college-ball-too shooting guard extraordinaire Juan Dixon. I watched that game as a high school senior on the Maryland campus in College Park (right outside of DC), and then walked outside and saw the campus erupt in “celebratory riots.” (Is that what they’ll call it in Oakland if Johannes Mehserle is found guilty? Doubtful.)

Well, since I couldn’t convince my coworkers to bet on our students in the slam, I set up the NCAA office pool today. But we know “the point is not the points, the point is the buzzer beaters.” So here is my present to you, sports fans.

Enjoy the upsets.

And in case you were wondering, my bracket’s got Kansas, West Virginia, Syracuse, and Villanova in the Final Four. My heart’s still with you Maryland…just not my money.