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March. Madness.

It seems so simple, this business of putting a ball through a hoop. These guys try to get it in that goal and those guys try to get it in this goal. Easy enough.

Then you watch the first day of March Madness (The First Four nonsense doesn’t count. At all.) and you experience the rush of elation, the hope, the edge-of-your-seat nervousness and, if your team flames out unexpectedly, the depression. And then it’s not so simple.

It’s very, very exciting. You feel ecstatic when some school you’ve barely ever heard of (did anyone outside Kentucky know where Morehead State was?) upsets one of the giants. You flip out when a ball leaves a shooter’s hand, drops through the rim and the backboard lights up a split second later and it’s over. No matter how much the other team wants just one more chance — just a chance! — it’s done. Pause the replay for a minute — you’ll see pure joy and pure defeat in one frame.

Emotions run the gamut. Announcers lose their minds. Players remember these moments the rest of their lives. Fans go bonkers. And if it’s YOUR SCHOOL that’s making headlines and hitting buzzer beaters? Well that’s just glorious. If it’s your school that’s doing the losing, well, that’s just depressing.

Either way, you know you’ve done something today. You’ve remembered, cheered, gotten mad, chewed your nails, yelled at the tv, cheered with a crowd, slapped hands with strangers, ripped up your bracket, laughed, cried, watched that replay over and over — did you see that?!

And we get to do it all again tomorrow. Spectacular.

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