On Waiting For College Basketball…

Posted by Connor Pelton (@ConnorPelton28) on November 14th, 2014

Just 221 days ago we looked on as Connecticut outlasted Kentucky in the National Championship game. What you’ve done with those 221 days, I have no idea. But I know what college basketball has been doing; waiting. Just sitting there, letting the rest of the world pass it by. Sure, there were a few interesting stories that came out during the dog days of summer, but in the end, this was one of the most boring offseasons in recent history. And you know what, that’s okay. Because the time for waiting is over. Starting this very morning, games will be played again. Real games that count. Games with outcomes that might be listed on tournament résumés come March.

What I advise of you is to take it all in. Follow your team from the start. Do not give up after a bad loss. Celebrate a big win. Because this sport is way too fun to not watch it all from the beginning.

Rush the Court. (credit: TBL)

Rush the Court. (credit: TBL)

It’s funny what memories stick out in our minds. Some of the most vivid ones of mine are related to sports, and the majority of those have to do with basketball. I remember having back surgery when I was nine years old and my first request after waking up was for one of the nurses to turn the channel in my room to an Oregon State-Portland game. I remember March afternoons in grade school asking to go to the bathroom, then going to the library instead to use a computer and check the scores of Tournament games. Now I just take an extra long lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Some things never change.

The game is played in front of 24,000 fans in Lexington, and 3,000 in Burlington. It’s played late into Monday nights in Spokane and early on Saturday mornings in Dayton. It’s phrases like “Big Monday,” “Super Tuesday,” “Feast Week”, and “Championship Week” that get us fans of the game excited. It’s staying up until 2:00 AM to watch a High Point-Hawaii game during the Tipoff Marathon, and ignoring your family at Thanksgiving to catch some of the Old Spice Classic.

Gym

You Can Smell the Hardwood in This Photo (credit: UK Libraries)

The game makes us do crazy things because it makes us feel something. And it’s great because that something is different for everyone. Some people get chills when they arrive to a gym right as the gates open and it sits nearly empty. Some people get so excited after a big win that they rush the court with 5,000 of their closest friends. Sometimes, it’s just the little things. The squeak of the shoes on a hardwood floor. The CBS intro music before Greg Gumbel reveals the Tournament field on Selection Sunday. The noise your printer makes the following morning when it spits out the first of many brackets that you will look at over the next few days.

Stop Waiting. (credit: ABC News)

Stop Waiting. (credit: ABC News)

So, all I’m asking is that you enjoy these next five months. Pull an all-nighter to watch a couple of mid-majors play their only ESPN-televised game of the year. Travel with your team to a road game and yell and scream like you own the place. Go to a small conference tournament and watch a team dance like they are about to cut down the nets at Lucas Oil. The fretting about lineup changes, coaches on the hot seat, and whether players should be paid? Save that for the offseason. It is time to watch basketball. Because soon enough we will listen to Jim Nantz make a corny catchphrase at the end of the national title game. And a few minutes later, the trumpets will kick in. We will hear Luther Vandross say, the ball is tipped. Some of us might tear up.

And then we’ll wait again.

Connor Pelton (300 Posts)

I’m from Portland. College basketball and football is life.


Share this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *