We sent our children to Final Four schools. We were sure of it.
But, instead of Bobby Knight and John Thompson Jr, we had Mike Davis and Kelvin Sampson and Craig Esherick and JT III. Not exactly the upper echelons of the college coaching fraternity, by anyone's estimation, be they Republican or Democrat, Big 10 or Big East or ACC booster. Instead of family vacations in Indianapolis or New Orleans or Atlanta, we were sitting on our individual couches in our individual living rooms, texting rather than hugging.
The Cuters graduated, the teams got no better, the Parental Units moved to Tucson, and UofA's 5 time Final Four coach Lute Olsen had a stroke and retired. We were cursed.
The Bride graduated from Kansas, which managed to survive the departure of Roy Williams, thus providing us with a rooting interest. IntrepidCat graduated from UNC, and they are always good for a cheer or two. Her sister, Niece-the-Youngest, is a South Carolina grad, which, this year, made for a lot of excitement on both the men's and the women's sides.
But our schools - Indiana and Georgetown - were no where to be found this season. They've fired the coaches and promised the alumni that happy days are soon to be here again. But it's The Championship Game on television tonight, and we don't really care, one way or the other.
The story ends this way - I won the (20+ years running) Family March Madness Pool at the end of the Sweet Sixteen. No one else could get any points at that time..... or, in non-sports parlance, none of us had any teams left in any of the slots in our brackets.
There is no joy in Mudville; our Mighty Casey's didn't even make the cut.