Monday, March 16, 2009

Meandering March Madness Musings...

March Madness...

I'm a UNC fan. I don't like the matchup with LSU. LSU is the type of team I'd like to avoid in a tournament. Good guard play, athletic and well-coached. If they don't try to run with UNC, and I doubt Trent Johnson will, it could be curtains for the tar heels.

Yesterday was one of those rare days I pulled for Duke. I did so a couple of years ago when my good friend of mine, a Duke fan, passed. That really took the venom out of the UNC-Duke game for me a bit. This go around, I had to pull for Duke for my grandmother.

She's in her 90s and though petite is one of the toughest people I know. About 10 days ago she fell and broke her other hip. I say her other hip because she broke the first one a couple of years back. That was shortly after I gave her a card saying she was "hip" unlike most grandmothers who break their hips. Yeah, I moosched her.

Anyway, she's been in the hospital with a variety of complications. Seems like you can't go to the hospital these days without picking up a hospital virus and getting an infection. Both happened. She managed to fight them off and just as she was recuperating they noticed a high level of white blood cells. After a point, they did some tests and she's got Leukemia. I thought that was uncommon for the elderly but apparently not this type.

So, my sister and I decided to go to Gulf Breeze and visit because she wasn't feeling well and things seemed bleak. We think we might be able to steal 15 minutes of time on Saturday and maybe 15 more on Sunday. Sure enough when we arrive, she insists on us staying and talking with her, ignoring the need for rest and within a day was checked out of the hospital. This woman in the last 15 years has had two serious heart procedures, cancer which she licked, broken bones, and other ailments and never once complains about a thing. Well, she complains if her soup is cold, but I think she's earned that right.

I've no doubt she'll keep on fighting til the very end and won't complain a peep. She was walking around the hospital a couple of days after her operation before her infection sank in, so she is the model of toughness and stoicism. You ask her how she's feeling and she deflects it into asking about you. Lots of admiration for her.

She graduated from Duke and is a big Duke hoops fan. Therefore when Duke was playing FSU yesterday, and I was watching at her house, I had to cheer for the evil shade of blue. And this year if they make some sort of run in the tournament, I won't be hating as much as I normally do.

Crazy, I go there thinking she might be on death's door, and less than a day later, I leave with her back home talking about the Dukies going deep in March. As she'll be bedridden, kind of hope they do because it'll give her something to watch.

I of course will be doing a slew of pools, as always. It's an odd year to me. I can't decide if it's wide open, or the number 1 seeds will all rebound and go deep like last year. I feel like Louisville, despite ending on the highest note is the most suspect. I almost like that Pitt, UCONN, and UNC went out early in the conference tournaments and had time to refocus and get ready for the tournament. It's weird because Louisville, along with Memphis, is arguably the hottest team. Some people like that.

I take solace in the fact, UNC lost in the ACC tournaments in their three previous national championship years.

For those that like to gamble on sports, bwin offers a sports book and an online casino. I have a feeling there will be a lot of wagers made on the tournament. I usually like the number 1 seed four team parlay. I like it even more this year. I'm always concerned that UCONN will play a little flat as they have in years past in the 1-16 game, but coming on the heels of their OT loss I don't think they do. This is gonna be blowout city for all four teams. Get on the train and enjoy the parlay (sucker bet I know).

Wonder how many people will juggle their NCAA day games with some blackjack at the casino online. Seems like once you start wagering you get a little bit of tunnel vision and want to gamble on everything. I'm headed to the Beau this weekend but even with live roulette tables, pai gow games, and other options I think I will play casino online a bit aswell from the room watching the games. Easier to stick to my budget that way. Should be a fun four days of live poker, March Madness, brackets, play online casino and seeing a couple of friends from the ATL.

No real poker news to report, but this time of year, everybody's work suffers.

www.gulfcoastpoker.net


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