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One Shining Moment(s), 2015.


The song, One Shining Moment, written by David Barrett and performed later by Luther Vandross has become synonymous with college hoops. (CBS airs it every year during March Madness.) It’s what a lot of people assimilate with the Underdog stories of the tournament. They are always special.

I have to ask: Did you catch any of the start of March Madness last weekend?

I hope you did. It’s been quite spectacular since Thursday.

If not, that’s okay. There’s still the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4, and Championship in Indy before us.

(Please don’t let my basketball excitement scare you away from my posts. I promise to venture back into other subject matter…soon.)

There’s just something so contagious about filling out the brackets each year, seeing underdogs pull off upsets (‘Thank yous’ go out to yesterday’s upsets…you know who you are), and witnessing the passion with which these young players play with, knowing each game could be their last.

The example I give of a ‘shining moment’ was one you might’ve seen over the weekend. (If not, don’t let me spoil it for you.)


There was a small, unknown team by the name of Georgia State given a 14-seed and expected to play the 3-seed, Baylor, in their region’s initial round. (Before this, the head coach (and also the father of the team’s star guard, had torn his Achilles tendon during the celebration of winning a previous conference leading up to the NCAA tournament.)

Coach Ron Hunter, and his son, R.J., made magic in the initial round of March Madness by knocking off the favored Baylor, with a last-second, deep 3-pointer by R.J. The crowd erupted, the upset was made, and Coach Hunter, who was stationed on a swivel chair, applauded and leaped/fell from it to the court. With the torn Achilles (and cast) already, and the fall, there was lots of concern for the coach’s well-being, but he admitted it was excitement, he was okay.

Hunter and his son celebrated the victory and put a team on the map…literally. Fast forward to the next round, and there was a close effort against Xavier, but Georgia State fell to them. The Cinderella experience ended. But, we discovered it was about so much more. As the press interviewed Hunter, R.J. and the other Georgia State players, we saw it wasn’t about their loss or shortcomings at all. It was a season to celebrate the memories made along the way. The people around the game!

Coach Hunter’s response is best seen (rather than told) as he reacts to the year, his team, and his son:

It’s EPIC for all the right reasons.

These things are what make the round of 68 (formerly, 64) so great. Now, we wait for Thursday’s match-ups of more evenly matched teams. But, we won’t forget the magic of the initial rounds.

They TOO are what make March special.


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Selection Sunday, Bracket Monday.


Any sports fans out there?

How about NCAA college hoops fans?

Do you enjoy the spectacle that is NCAA bracketology?

Yesterday was ‘Selection Sunday,’ and I love that the bracket list of teams has grown even larger. (It’s now at 68 teams!)

Before we know it, March Madness will seriously take the entire months of March, April, and May to complete. Smiley face from this guy, if that happens!

And like every die-hard basketball fan, I printed my bracket this fine, Monday morning. Selection Sunday yields Bracket MONDAY!

Now what?

The picks of course.

If you’re reading this and thinking, Brian has gone off the deep end. You’re probably not alone in your thinking. But hear me out.

Imagine a month every year where maybe it’s your favorite movies of all-time are being re-played in a theater near you. Could you imagine getting to see Terminator 2 played in IMAX? What about watching T2 and then Weekend at Bernie’s back-to-back? Or, pretend you’re given backstage passes for all of Bonnaroo music festival and your favorite bands are requesting your presence.

Wouldn’t that make your 2015 more entertaining? More memorable like the 4th of July, vacation, and your birthday all rolled into one?

Except get this…the outcomes are unknown until the final buzzer!

This is what takes it to the next level. We don’t know if a #1 seed will get past an #8 or even a #16. UPSETS are sometimes a GOOD thing. (I know this is contrary to everyday thinking and really doesn’t work anywhere else.)

But, to contrast it again with a string of your favorite movies being replayed in theaters or given Bonnaroo passes. Imagine the movie theater owner telling you that you get to rewrite the endings of the classics (scary thought, huh?). Or, the Bonnaroo manager saying, “You play the tambourine? Great. Get on-stage and open for Cage the Elephant. Or, better yet, how about you just stay up there and play alongside them. See what happens.”

These might be SLIGHT exaggerations to my initial point. But let me just repeat this: MARCH is fun now.

[And not just mediocre fun like eating at a pizza buffet or walking a dog around your neighborhood.]

Think bigger.

Even if you don’t enjoy the game of basketball, I encourage you to fill out a bracket this year…today. Pick Teams. Even if you do it based on their names alone. This one sounds funny. This one doesn’t. What’s a Villanova? Is that an ice cream flavor? Where in the world is Hampton? All good questions. Use them in YOUR process.

It seems that the best way to describe this time of year is the word– user-friendly.

You get to pick the rounds, consider the spread, and watch 1 game (or, 8 games if you’re capable) at any given time.

Enjoy them from the comfort of your favorite chair or take a trip to one of the tournament regions, cheer on the team that’s name sounds like an ice cream flavor.

It’s your only chance before April (a time when many will go one to the professional level and the NBA [lowers voice a few octaves]).

The NBA is okay. The NCAA is what makes an otherwise dreary time of the year (at least for the mid-west, mid-south, mid-north, and northeast US) bearable and then some.


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God made Dr. James Naismith, and Naismith begat basketball.


Every March, basketball reigns supreme for many across the US. You won’t see much else on TV from now until mid-April.

It rains 3-pointers most of the year in my home state of Kentucky. In-season, out-of-season, and summer league all seem to run together. We played the game even when we didn’t have a proper ball growing up. (I remember using volleyballs, soccer balls, and even kick balls to throw through hoops during the years of grade school.)

Nowhere will you see such ravenous basketball fans than those that support BBN! Many of us have to remind ourselves that it is (truly…painfully) just a game. Not an idol or any such business to be adored more than it should.

But…it sure is fun to watch.

I see it as a gift.

Glad that God made James Naismith who, in turn, made the game of basketball. Sure he was from Canada, founded another program we don’t speak of too much in the bluegrass state *ahem* KU, and held a less than impressive 55-60 head coaching record in his time, but Naismith got this invention right.

Sure, stress levels are through the roof and the work productivity from Monticello to Covington to Paducah to Pikeville slows to a crawl each year, but the game is amazing to behold.

Questions we find ourselves asking: Will the sophomores step up like they did last year? Can Booker shoot 50% from 3-pt range? Does Cauley-Stein have enough mean bones in his body to be a dominant big man in March? All valid questions and equal to asking things such as: “Should we call off school today because of bad weather or not?” and “How’s your mom doing?”

I love the stress. It is something akin to the fear one has before taking off in an airplane. It’s unsettling and fun all at once.

To quote Mr. David Bowie, “Let’s dance!”