I remember growing up watching the University of Cincinnati Bearcat basketball team on TV with my family as often as I could. Sometimes, we would get tickets to go to one of the games. I even remember getting my first UC jersey (it was number 3 - Damon Flint). I don't know if I've ever been prouder of an article of clothing.
My aunt lives in Louisville, and had a friend who had season box seat tickets to the University of Louisville basketball games. For a couple years in a row, she was able to get the tickets for the Cincinnati at Louisville (who were two of the best teams in Conference USA at the time) game so that my family, some of my friends and I could drive down for the night, see the game, then drive back late so we could get up for school in the morning. There isn't much better for a kid who is a basketball fan than to get to watch a game from great seats and get free catered food in the process.
I remember listening to a Final Four game on a small hand held radio during a wedding reception once. I can't remember whose wedding it was, or who was playing the game, but I remember it turning what would have otherwise been a boring event for a kid into an exciting night.
A couple of years ago, when I was living close to Washington, DC, a good friend of mine gave me an extra ticket that he had for the ACC tournament at the MCI Center. I got to watch three or four games of some of the best teams in the nation playing. More importantly, I got to hang out and catch up with a good friend for a day.
It seems like I have a lot of good memories revolving around college basketball. Watching the exciting games in the tournament this year brings them back. Sometimes, I think April gets annoyed at me when I'm completely sucked into some of these games, even though I have no real interest in either team beyond what I've picked in my bracket. She tries her hardest to get my attention, but there's really not much point if there's less than 5 minutes left and the score is within 10 points. I just got so excited that I was yelling at the TV during the Washington State vs. Vanderbilt game. I think I can name at least 7 players on the Virginia Commonwealth team from this year. I can't think of anything else that demands my attention and draws me in like a good college basketball game. There's something about the pressure and the passion that are combined in these games that leave me at the mercy of my television like no other program can.