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Head over heels for basketball

Tamara MillerVail CO, Colorado

I am a married woman who is in love with a man who isnt my husband. Dont worry, Im not going to do anything about it. Its not really like that, anyway. I think my husband has known me long enough to not be threatened by my recent infatuation with Brandon Rush, the 66-shooting guard for the Kansas Jayhawks who nailed six three-pointers in the Jayhawks romp over the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday. My husband understands that Im more likely to be googly-eyed over Rushs shooting percentage than his smile. My spouse also gets that the object of my affection can quickly change, depending upon which Jayhawk happens to be the leading star for that particular night. Considering KUs leading scorer changes with every game, Ive pretty much been fallen for about half of the team at one point in time or another. During this time of year, especially.Its pretty hard not to get caught up in the NCAA basketball tournament. They dont call it March Madness for nothing. Aside from my beloved Jayhawks who have more than avenged the first-round losses that plagued them in 2005 and 2006, and are now headed to the Sweet 16 this years tournament has pleasantly defied my expecations, if not wreaked havoc on my bracket. I mean, sure, Dukes team was young. Sure they fell out of the Top 25 polls for part of the season. But I, like most people I know, had them making it to at least the second round. Ill admit I had them making it all the way to the Sweet 16.Thanks to their first-round loss to Virginia Commonwealth, my bracket on the CBS Web site is looking a little red. The ACC is left with only one team in the tourney the No. 1-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels. Same goes for the Big 10, after UNLV knocked out the No. 2-seeded Wisconsin Badgers this weekend.Ohio State, which held the No. 1 spot in the coaches poll for most the season, is looking a little weak after its near-loss to No. 9-seeded Xavier. Texas is out, despite another outstanding performance by freshman Kevin Durant, who will likely join the NBA next year. And USC is looking scary good. In the meantime, there have been few major upsets and little chance now of any kind of a Cinderella story unless UNLV counts, and I dont think it does.No, if you referred to the recent past in filling out your bracket this year, you are likely now near the bottom of your office pool.The upside of all this? Duke lost in the first round. Games to watch this week: Im very interested in the Ohio State Tennessee match-up. Like I said, Ohio State nearly got knocked out of the tournament this past weekend. And Tennessee was No. 2 in the Southeastern Conference a conference that still has three teams in the tournament. Thats nothing to scoff at. The game is scheduled to start at 7:57 p.m. (MST) Thursday. The Memphis Texas A&M game should be a thriller. And not just because they are seeded No. 2 and No. 3 in the South bracket, respectively. This game should be of interest to anyone who cares about the Big 12 (which can be considered one of Eagle Countys home conferences, by the way, because CU is a part). If A&M pulls this one off, it will do a lot to boost the conference, which still plays in the shadows of the over-rated Big 10 and ACC. Anyway, tip-off for this game is slated for 5:27 p.m. Thursday. Of course, I think the Kansas Southern Illinois game is one to watch. I was admittedly biased from the beginning of the season about KUs chances of being the 2007 national champs. But after watching them flat-out spank Niagara, and then confidently beat Kentucky, I think I have plenty of reason to think the Jayhawks could go all the way this year. The game starts at 5:10 p.m. Thursday. All games are being broadcasted on CBS. What do you think? E-mail your thoughts to tmiller@vaildaily.com or better yet, post a comment to this blog on the Dailys Web site. For AP coverage of the NCAA tournament, check out http://www.vaildaily.com/ncaa


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