While we'll be celebrating the resurrection here in Ceres with the sunrise at 7:24 AM, my bracket has entered the dark night of the soul on only the third day of the tournament.
(Also, may I add that I've started some weird Easter tradition of watching movies that relate in a backhanded way to what we're celebrating. I stole the idea of watching The Matrix Trilogy at Easter last year. This afternoon, we've embarked on part one of the walk through all three Indiana Jones movies, to be completed before May 22, with Raiders of the Lost Ark. Didn't you guys ever go to Sunday school?)
Unlike Duke's loss, I feel proud of the boys from Marquette, who just finished an immensely enjoyable and up-and-down game (as commented on by Jay Bilas, who does a great job with color and should do it more often) with Stanford, losing by one in overtime. The Golden Eagles fought hard with every possession - you could tell how much they wanted it in the way they celebrated little things like loose ball victories, etc. - they just came up on the wrong end of it at the end. Stanford, also, appears very solid and should have an interesting matchup with (probably) Texas next weekend.
So now with finalist Duke down and Final Four contender Marquette out, things look bleak. Western Kentucky and Mississippi State need to come through tomorrow to put me back in it, and if they can take care of business by beating one seeds along the way, they'll accomplish their task by taking everyone else's bracket out as well while I reap a small benefit. Because beating Memphis and UCLA (and San Diego before that for WKU) should be no problem, right.
And of course, the SESB bracket will go as far as the Vols do. So there's still a flicker of hope remaining. That hope carries forward to Sunday.
Ouch, my bracket.
The problem with picking hot-shooting three point teams to go deep in March is that sometimes you can pick the wrong one. So while West Virginia got clutch threes from surprising places, Duke looks as sick and tired as their coach in the second half, and is currently playing "how many 3's can we miss in a row?" (currently at 16)
So, my premeditated decision to not pick UCLA to the Final Four, and the fact that we'll be rolling the dice again later today with Marquette, led me to pick Duke all the way to the title game almost as the best choice of who was left over. This, my friends, was a bad idea.
I also think that if Larry Bird got fat, shrank a few inches and dyed his hair, he'd be Bob Huggins.
I'm more upset by the fact that I can't celebrate Duke's exit along with the rest of the college basketball world than anything else. I feel like I cheated myself out of something great.