It’s time for March Madness! Philly has placed three teams in the NCAA Tournament this year—La Salle, which returns after a 21-year absence, joins Villanova and Temple, which make the big dance rather more often.
La Salle was one of the few teams that had to actually see its name on TV to know it truly made the field. While the Explorers boasted wins over Butler and VCU, their disappointing loss against the Bulldogs in the Atlantic 10 tournament left them nervous watching the selection show.
When the Explorers saw their name on TV, they went wild. The players all jumped out of their chairs and got together for one big group hug, while jumping and hollering, knocking over many chairs. Tyreek Duren and Ramon Galloway were locked in an extra long hug in the middle. Duren later had one arm around Galloway and the other around Tyrone Garland while yelling out a guttural “Yeaaaaah” over and over again.
Temple is in the tournament for the sixth straight year. Villanova is in for the 33rd time overall. Alarmingly, if Villanova wins its opening-round game, it will probably end up playing top-seeded Kansas in the second round on Sunday. And Kansas is awesome. (I lived in Lawrence—home of the Jayhawks, for eight years before moving here.) Sunday’s game will make me both happy and sad. So let’s not think about it yet.