Conference basketball tournaments are going on this weekend- which actually started on Wednesday if you are okay with letting the end of your work week blur into your weekend.
I'm okay with this, for the record.
The conference tournaments can help escalate a few teams that may have been on the "bubble," so to speak, but for the good teams it can only slightly affect your seeding in the NCAA tournament. The Big East, for example, had upsets in three of their four games tonight, so it might put a little dent in the seeding for some of them.
You want your team to play well in their respective conference tournament not just for bragging rights, though that's a nice bonus and recognition of a great season, but you also want your players geared up, full of adrenaline and confidence for March Madness, which starts next week.
Since the field for the March Madness tournament is 65 teams (including the play-in game), there is a good chance there will be a few teams that you haven't seen play this season.
Well... okay. The chance is better than good. But you have the opportunity to brush up before making any "I wrote it in pen already" decisions.
If you are planning to fill out a bracket this year to enter a pool of some sort, then make Sunday a day where you pick up multiple newspapers. Grab a local paper, (for me it would be The Dallas Morning News,) and a copy of USA Today. Spend some time reading about the teams in the tournament you are unfamiliar with, consult ESPN.com which has a wealth of statistics on teams and individuals. Pay attention to the teams in the middle- the 5-8 seeded teams especially, because that is where brackets start busting a few weeks down the road.
I've tried to handle winning well, so that maybe we'll win again, but I've also tried to handle failure well. If those serve as good examples for teachers and kids, then I hope that would be a contribution I've made to sport. Not just basketball, but to sport.
-Coach Mike Krzyzewski