As I pointed out earlier today on Twitter, I've been a fan of Duke basketball since a friend turned me onto them in college. I have a lot of respect for Coach K, and the teams are always fun to watch. But I just couldn't root for them today against Baylor.
Call it Texas pride, I guess; the Lone Star State had seven teams invited to the Big Dance this year, even though several bowed out in the first round (including my own alma mater, UNT) and my adopted school (via my sister), Texas A&M, went out in round two. Baylor was the last of the Mohicans, so it was hard not to root for them.
And I had a few other reasons: Baylor is home to one of the fraternity chapters I supervise, and I probably know people in their pep band, even if I couldn't recognize them because nearly everyone had a painted face. And besides that, Baylor hoops is a great story; coach Scott Drew has built the program up from the depths of despair after a series of scandals rocked the team under its previous coaching staff.
For all but the last two minutes, Baylor hung tough. The game was tied when I went to my car to leave for my gig tonight, which is why it was quite shocking to find out that, in the time it took me to get in the car, start it, and find the station that was airing the game, Duke had suddenly gone up by six points. It was pretty much all over by then.
But congrats to the Bears for a great season. And Duke, I guess I'm back in your corner again.
UPDATE: In a weird coincidence, the Baylor and Duke women's teams met the following night (with a Final Four berth also at stake), and this time, Baylor won. (It was the first time in the history of the women's tournament that both the men's and women's tournaments featured the same matchup in a regional final.)