The bracket reveal, the buzzer beaters, the upsets, the once in a lifetime performances, the cinderella run. None of it will be happening this year. There is no other way to describe it, it’s sad.
I find myself feeling the most for the seniors who missed out on their opportunity to play in the big dance. One last, or first, chance to play in what might be the most magical sporting event of the year.
Sports are supposed to be a way for us fans to escape the craziness and the drama of the rest of our lives. It gives us something to be excited about, to root for, to distract us from the rest of the world. But this time, there is no distraction. Instead we are left with the what ifs, and the what could have been.
For no other team is it more true than for our own Oregon Women’s team. The ultimate question of what a team could have accomplished. Arguably the most talented team, with the most talented player in in the country, and we will never know how their story was supposed to play out.
We all have some sort of investment in the NCAA Tournament. Whether it’s our beloved Ducks, our work/family/friends bracket pool, or just a love for basketball, we all watched. We all found ourselves rooting and cheering for something.
The NCAA Tournament is something that I look forward to for every year, and yet somehow I still took it for granted. Now that we are no longer able to to binge watch basketball for 12 hours this weekend, I find myself missing and wanting it even more.
From the First Four to the Final Four, every game had excitement, every game had intrigue. No matter how I filled out my bracket (or brackets), I almost always found myself rooting for the underdog, and relishing in the excitement when I picked one right.
This year was poised to be no different. Never has there been a season I can remember where there were no clear favorites to win it all on the Men’s side. It really did feel like anyone could beat anybody. It was going to be as wild and unpredictable a Tournament we have seen.
Instead, we are left with watching replays of our favorite instant classics, and luckily for us there are many. My favorite non-Oregon memory was watching Jimmer Fredette at BYU during his senior season. He was a player that I just thoroughly enjoyed watching play, and hoped he would score 50 points every night.
With sports seemingly done for the near future, what old games are you all watching? What are some of your favorite NCAA Tournament moments? We all need something to get our sports fix!
Coach Alex Nordstrand
Eugene, OregonTop Photo by Tom Corno
Chris Brouilette, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a current student at the University of Oregon from Sterling, Illinois.
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