Thursday, March 17, 2005

UWM Advances!

Well, well, well—it looks like the boys from UWM pulled off the first upset of the NCAA tournament, knocking off Alabama. For the record, yes, I did have it picked that way in my brackets. However, I can’t say that it was a confident pick, or that I did it because I’m some basketball super-genius. In fact, I really only picked that game because I’m a tremendous homer. I was impressed by Alabama in their game earlier this year against Wisconsin, and given their up-tempo style of play and bigger bodies up front, I thought this was one of the few teams that could shrug off UWM’s pressing and running. It just looked like a bad matchup for the Panthers. Shows what I know, though in my defense, any team that buries that many 3-pointers is always going to stand a chance. I can’t really provide much analysis beyond saying that I’m excited, though, since the game was blacked out on my internet feed since it was showing locally, and the guy at my office who has a TV doesn’t get great reception (I saw lots of colors in the last 2 minutes). I recorded it at home, though, so maybe I’ll throw it on later.

I really am loving this run by UWM, though. The pride in the school here is unprecedented. As I’ve mentioned in the past, UW-Milwaukee has never been the type of place that inspires pride among those affiliated with it. It’s largely a commuter school. It’s certainly not a bad school, but it’s always been a bit of a rarity for me to meet someone who goes to UWM and proudly announces that fact. There are probably more UWM grads than graduates of any other university living in Milwaukee, but until now, there’s never been a buzz. Today there are huge window signs downtown, and expressions of encouragement in various notable places in the city. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s still not the type of attention that, say, Marquette would get if they were having a great season, but for UWM, this is almost bigger. To go from no excitement at all, to having a good portion of the city behind you is huge. I can only hope that if coach Bruce Pearl moves on after having such success that someone solid takes over. It’s fun to see the morale of this city at such a high point. Wisconsin is still my alma mater, and will always be my favorite, but this UWM team has really been fun to watch this year.

Well, that’s all that I think I can say without actually watching a game. It’s not been my hardest working day ever, but that’s okay, since I think it puts me in line with most of the nation. Happy evening viewing!


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