March Madness, family style

I am just sure I have posted about this subject before – it happens once a year. But this year it snuck up on me.

The Set-up – Part 1:
I was at work yesterday, and when I called to say I was leaving for home Carl suggested I listen to the last 8 minutes of the UW Huskies vs Arizona basketball game on the radio. So I dutifully tuned in. And I got home in 8 minutes! (Fastest time ever. It is 25 miles, so my average speed was about 187 miles per basketball hour.)

And the game was not over. In the last basket the Huskies tied the game, forcing OT. At the end of OT they scored the buzzer beater to win the game. And as it turns out the Pac 10 tournament.

The Set-up – Part 2:
Rey has a new computer – with a web-cam. We Skype on occassion because the computer has a better connection in his apartment than his cell phone. And now we have pictures. So we were really calling just to see him, and catch up a bit.

The Bracketing:
We discussed the aforementioned game a bit, and then I asked when the March Madness tournament started. I was told that tomorrow (today) was Selection Sunday.

Brief moment of panic.

For many, many years we have done a family bracket. Each member has their personal favourite teams, but the bracket is built on pure chance. We used to make number slips, fold them and put them in a hat, and then draw them out one-by-one. College and careers have required a change to the format. We continued it for a while, with designated drawers for each person. Then it went high tech, using Excel’s random number generator.

But the goal is to still due it with everyone involved to some degree.
It does not have to be done before the selection, but finding out which team you get as they are called can be part of the fun. And Rey was planning to attend a Selection gathering in the afternoon. So it seemed that the time to do the bracket was NOW! (Then?)

No Ashlan – what to do. Called and left a message to join us.
But we resurected last year’s spreadsheet and cleaned to start over. Start the random numbering.

One note about random number generators. Since they are random, if you choose 64 random numbers between 1-64, you are going to have the same number show up more than once, and some not at all. So it takes a few – well several go arounds to get all 64 slots filled in. In the end I was trying to get the last two numbers to show up next to a name with a blank. Then Rey pointed out that both of the last two slots were his, so I didn’t need to keep being random. (The boy still has brains)

About this time Ashlan’s name appeared on the screen, and we added her to the conversation. The only thing with conferencing on Skype was that you lose the video. But, it was still fun to have the whole fam-damily together. I highly recommend it to all of those with far-flung folks.

The conversation only stayed on basketball long enough to note that Ashlan wants UW, she is not so enamoured of Duke this year, MSU is a maybe, UMichigan should make it, root against Northern Colorado if they get in, and I could send the bracket to them later that night. (As it turns out Rey got 2 number 1 seeds, Ashlan and Carl each got 1 and I am shut out of the number 1 slot.)

Concerts, school, upcoming travels and general goofiness filled the rest of the time. And then it was time for dinner, bed and going out – depending on who and where you were.

Today is a rainy grey day here, so we will probably be home-bodies most of the day. Our outdoor sports season is quickly approaching. I am ready for the sun-breaks to become more prevelant. Enough for it to be called sunny, with occasional clouds.

Ashlan=Yellow, Rey=Purple, Jay=Blue, Carl=Green

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