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March Madness is All About The Lemonade This Season

March 18, 2016

Flash back to last year at this time.

The CSU Women had lost to San Jose State in the. MWC Tourney quarterfinal and we’re headed to the WNIT where they were bumped out in the first round by Northern Colorado.

The Men had lost in the MWC Tourney semi to San Diego State but were seemingly safe to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournment.

Selection Sunday rolled around and there was no bid for the Rams. Instead a 1-seed in the NIT. At the time it was painful for both players, coaches, and fans.  Anger with a sense of helplessness as well when the Rams weren’t dancing.

I blogged about making lemonade out of lemons.  That the NIT offered an unbelievably rich history  and had a trip to play any one of the Meccas of all of college basketball, Madison Square Garden.  For whatever reason, the team wasn’t up to it and lost in the first round to a game and motivated South Dakota State squad.

Fast forward to this season. Hope always springs eternal and both men’s and women’s teams looked like there was some potential to be dancing.

After a 5-0 start, the men never figured out a way to fix their defensive issues and it was obvious that their only hope to advance to the NCAA’s was to win the MWC Tourney.  And that was a crazy long shot in and of itself.  As much as I wanted to believe, I couldn’t bring myself to making plans revolving around them making the NCAA’s.

On the other hand, the Women had an early road loss to Penn after a nice home win over BYU. Both tourney level teams at the time (and would be proven true when both won their leagues). And then they started winning. And winning. And winning.

So I decided to go all in on the women.

Instead of the MWC Tourney, I decided it was the NCAA or bust.

I had a pair of tickets to the first two rounds of the Men’s Tournament in Denver. I paid $540 for them with something like $30 in handling. A total of $570.   Nice seats in the lower level corner 15 rows up. Very sellable.

Two weeks before we knew that the CSU Womenwere headed to the Dance, I listed them on Craigslist for $1200.  WIthin 3 hours, I had a person contact me who wanted them.  We met the next day in Firestone and he handed me 12 crisp Benjamin’s.  

Lemonade baby!

And then like I had hoped, the CSU Women scored a marvelous comeback in the MWC CHampionship over Fresno State to earn their bid to the NCAA’s.  

More lemonade!

The Selection Show was not nervy with the MWC auto-bid in hand but it was more about who and where. We were hoping Tempe but instead got LA site and South Florida in the first round.  Sett8ing up travel was brutal but somehow I could a flight to Vegas to be followed by a car ride to Westwood.

Editorial: The NCAA Basketball Tournament for both men and women has lost their way when it comes to being fan friendly for those that want to attend.  Last minute flights and hotels are expensive.  For the men it’s about the TV $’s. For the women, who knows?

All the arrangements were made and all that was left was to head to the airport.

Not so fast.

On Wednesday, I came down with some kind of illness. Flu-like, achy pain. COngestion. Fever. Not good.  In fact, there was no chance I would be able to travel if it had stayed that way.

I spent all day on Thursday wrapped in blankets, eating chicken noodle soup, drinking tea with honey and lemon, eating bread.  Lots of water and Vitamin C.  Lots of Raspberry Lemonade.

The fever finally broke for ther first time around 6:00PM.  I went to bed early and was certainly not 100%.  I started feeling crummy again but awoke at 2:00AM and started downing Vitamin C and big glasses of raspberry lemonade.

I fell back to sleep  and awoke at 4:00AM absolutely drenched in sweat.  The fever had really broken this time.  

Again, lemonade!

Of course there’s snow to make the departure a little problematic. I’m not worried about that.  In 2003, we somehow made it out of Fort Collins to see CSU play Duke in Salt Lake CIty.  That storm produced 39″ of snow. SO this morning when I awakened to 4″ and crummy roads I wasn’t too concerned.

It’s March.

It’s all about the lemonade!

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