HAVING JOINED the home town/home state legions who have been thrilled with the basketball skills of their favorite teams in the big national tournaments these last days, we may now be staring at an embarrassment of regional sports riches: who, now that all is being said and done, should win the NCAA Division I Tournament? Georgetown or Virginia?
Any readers who have excused absences from discussions of this sport may opt for the nearest exit at this point--but in the interest of those choosing to remain, we'll stand foursquare and courageously behind both teams. It is already clear that a victory by one would be as sweet as a defeat of the other would be disappointing. Both teams and coaches already have been impressive in skill and sportsmanship-- as was the marvelous underdog-vs.-No.-1 performance Saturday by James Madison, in which the Harrisonburg team scared the socks off top-ranked North Carolina before losing a cliffhanger, 52 to 50. But on to Division II, where we have a hands-up winner in our books: the dazzling players of the University of the District of Columbia, who succeeded in undoing the No.1-ranked Cheyney State team Saturday night for the South Atlantic title and who now go to the semifinals in Springfield, Mass., this weekend.
This region's command of the sport extends at this point to women's teams as well--demonstrated with authority Sunday at Cole Field House, where Maryland overwhelmed Stanford in the first round of the NCAA West Regional tournament.
But enough of this hoopla--basketball is only a game, a diversion, a chance to enjoy something less grim or consequential than so much of the news, something to get involved in without doing anything, a . . . which channel did you say?