If you can handle a brief diversion from achy players and tetchy managers (not to mention defendant owners), it overjoys me to report that in a rare March game that counted and got my attention, it was USF 65 Cal 54 Wednesday night in Dayton. Really, it was more like Silent Cal, as they trailed your University of South Florida Bulls by as many as thirty, thus reminding me of the lady who told notoriously taciturn President Coolidge that she’d made a bet that she could get him to say more than two words. His response?
Enough about the Golden Bears. It’s the Golden Brahmans — as my alma mater’s teams were long ago known — who are moving on in the NCAA Tournament for the very first time. USF was previously party to March Madness in 1990 and 1992, one and done on both occasions. This year, we seeped into truTV’s prime time lineup as one-eighth of what they call the First Four. Some said we didn’t belong, not even on the outskirts of the Big Dance. But the First Four represented a foot in the door, and now we’re fully inside the gymnasium.
(See what happens when you make the big postseason tournament now and again?)
Next up for the Bulls is Temple on Friday night. I don’t think I’ve been so excited by such a prospect since I was nine and briefly entranced by what they were telling us in Hebrew school.