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Basketball - Men's College

March Madmen

    If you have no interest in teenage pituitary cases wearing baggy shorts, suck it up: This week you are outnumbered.

    March Madness. The Big Dance. One Shining Moment. Call it what you will, but the three weeks in March when 65 college basketball teams compete in a national single-elimination tournament may just be the most riveting, exhilarating, electrifying sporting event ever.

    Forget the corporate trough that is the Super Bowl. Sleep through the World Series as the summer game drags into November (quick, name the two teams who played last year). Not even the jingoistic Olympics can compete with the breathless spectacle of 65 schools, from little-known North Dakota State to mighty Duke.

    And now, for the first time since Michael Jordan’s sophomore year at North Carolina, Oregon will have a piece of the action.

    On Thursday, March 19, and Saturday, March 21, Portland will host NCAA men’s tournament games at the Rose Garden. It’s the first time the men’s tournament has been in Oregon since 1983, when Corvallis hosted games, and the first time in Portland since 1975.

    Hate it or love it, you won’t be able to ignore the mega-event when Mississippi State fans hit Portland’s streets clanging their cowbells. Or when Akron backers sing, “ Zzzip! Zip go the Zi-ips!” as they descend on the Rose Garden.

    — Excerpt from the Willamette Week, March 18, 2009


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