In March, there is always hope.
College basketball’s tournament season brings big possibilities and bigger dreams, and the idea that the little guy can triumph over unthinkable odds.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for anyone in need of a boost of faith. For even if your favorite team isn’t in the hunt for a championship, there’s a Cinderella story just around the corner, poised to renew your belief and revive your hope.
March is when the Madness happens, when a nation mourns its brackets being busted yet delights in the underdogs who cause the chaos.
In my family, it’ll be another chance for me to sit with my grandfather and watch Kentucky play. It hasn’t been the Cats’ best season, but Popaw and I have shared it together, just as we have for decades now. We groan and cheer and clap and cry; we analyze every play (and second-guess every official). It’s our ritual, game in and game out.
My grandfather’s health hasn’t been the best lately. He’s an underdog against his heart and his kidneys and the endless litany of ailments that come with being 91. Every day is a struggle against an opponent that doesn’t fight fairly. It’s a mismatch of epic proportions, played with the knowledge that the schedule ahead doesn’t get any easier.
There are no first-round byes. There are no timeouts. There’s no sub coming in off the bench to give him a breather.
The Cats take the court at 7:30 tonight, and Popaw and I will be watching—rooting, cheering, willing UK to victory with every ounce of energy we have.
Kentucky’s not favored to get very far this year, but that’s the thing about this game. In March, there is always hope.
Image: freeidgitalphotos.net/Salvatore Vuono