Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Molto Madness? The Un-Tourney

by Acacia O'Connor

For college basketball fans all over the United States, these mad weeks in March are the most anticipated and enjoyable of the entire year.

My readers, I'm sure, all know why.

I was never by any means exempt from this fact.

The thing which made the NCAA Tournaments infinitely better in the past several years was the happy fact that the first two weeks always fell fortuitously (as if by sivine intervention even) during Vassar's two-week long spring break.

While many of my friends fled to tropical climates during the break, visiting typical Spring break locales like Puerto Rico and Miami, I returned home to Syracuse and fixed myself permanently on our living room couch.

From there I was able to catch as many college basketball showdowns as the natural time-space continuum allowed.

Then, with the addition of wireless internet in my home, I could concurrently talk to my equally-obsessed friends about the games as they were played.

My memories of the past few tournaments have only served to increase my tenderness toward the lovely month of March.

(Not to mention that the past few years were also exciting for fans of the Syracuse mens side. From the 2003 Tournament Win--the after-glow of which was enough to make Syracusans neglect their next tournament performances--to the intense, short-lived excitement following last year's crazy Big East championship win)

The tournament also fed my basketball withdrawal, which always began to creep up three weeks or so after the end of the regular season.

All of this backstory serves to set up the sad void that is my 2007 NCAA tournament experience.

From what I've been able to figure out, few if any men's tournament games will be broadcast here on regular television.

Women's games? Yeah, right.

I'm hoping I can succeed in finding a sports bar somewhere to watch some of this weeks games, since Bologna is Basket City after all.

There is also the additional problem of the time difference.

Since the US "spring ahead" this week, the gap has lessened, but there is still a substantial 5 hour time difference, ensuring that any night games will be inconveniently broadcast while I am sleeping.

(And you know that those games, the double OT games that finish after the 12 o'clock news should have started, are the best.)

I may be able to follow some games as they are broadcast live on the internet, but the internet availability in my dorm is still sketchy.

Also, the timing of the tournament is less preferable to the Italian University schedule: this week I have midterms and two weeks from now I have my first dreaded Bologna University Oral Exam upon which my entire grade depends.

Next week, after midterms, is Spring Break for the Eastern College Consortium Program.

Just like Spring Break at home, many of my program peers will be going to other countries--Spain, Greece, Ireland.

Sadly, however, I will have no ESPN channels to enrich my life this time.

Instead, to easy my ex-patriot pain, I've decided to take a tour of several northern cities.

Not a complete consolation, but there are worse things in the world.

Buon Torneo!


(The writer would like to add the following post-script which affirms her entire statement of Tournament Oblivious-ness: She was unaware at the time of writing that Syracuse had been snubbed by the Men's NCAA selection committee, given a 2-seed in the NIT instead. She only found this out after spying a Facebook.com member group which is directing outrage and uncivil language in the direction of aforementioned committee.)

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