The Cyclones are out. Bummer.

On my first night in Iowa back in 1981, I made the mistake of watching a football game between Iowa and Illinois on TV. The announcer was Jim ("I love it! I love it! I love it!") Zabel- from the perspective of a fan of any team playing Iowa, undoubtedly the most obnoxious announcer in history. From that night on, I've added a team to my major college favorites- Northwestern, Illinois, and Northern Illinois. Now I also root for whatever team is playing Iowa.

So being an Iowa resident, it was probably inevitable that I would add yet another favorite: Iowa State, the Hawkeyes' arch rival. I have a soft spot in my heart for Oklahoma, where I have relatives. But after all, one of them (long deceased) actually flunked out of Iowa State, so I don't feel too guilty in giving preference to another Big Twelve team.

Now, I've never been a particular basketball fan (hockey was the winter sport of choice in the Waters household). But when it comes to college basketball, I take an interest in Iowa State. After all, when the Cubs' Triple-A team isn't playing, there has to be some local team I can root for (though I do have a fondness for the Des Moines Buccaneers, our local Junior A hockey team).

Anyway, the Cyclones gave it a good try, but they narrowly missed going to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen today. Final score: Ohio State 78, Iowa State 75,

A shame. It seemed a little strange to be rooting against one of the 12 of the 13 Big 10 teams I feel conference loyalty toward, but I guess I won't have to worry about that any more.

Now Illinois has to upset Miami.

ADDENDUM: No such luck. Miami 63, Illini 59.

Looks like I can stop paying attention now.


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