I was recently asked a question I felt bad answering. As a big sports fan and an even bigger “my” team supporter, I hate being anything but positive about my favorite teams and their success or lack thereof.
That’s why when I was asked, “Would you rather your favorite team win the NIT or win only the play-in game then lose in the NCAA tournament” I felt guilty choosing the NCAA option.
I am a proud graduate of the University of South Florida, and I watch or listen to every men’s basketball game every single season because I like cheering them on and supporting them. Also, I was born in Iowa and my family lives there as well as went to school at the University of Iowa. I also watch the Hawkeye men’s hoops games, although not as much, and will always support that team.
Those are my two favorite men’s basketball teams.
Having said that, their recent seasons have been less than stellar. And it’s been that way for a while. That means any kind of recognition or acknowledgement either team receives that’s halfway decent gets me, and all Bulls and Hawkeye fans, excited more than is necessary.
The NCAA tourney is more prestigious than the NIT, and that means if either of my fave teams is associated in any way, even in a play-in game, with that tournament…I’ll take it. And I’ll cheer like it’s the championship game.
Same teams in the NIT? I’d watch. No expectations. And no enthusiasm.
And even as I spiral into a guilt shame, that’s just how I feel.