There were two teams in maroon and white at Portland's Rose Garden tonight. Indiana owned the colors. New Mexico State was just leasing them, and apparently fell behind on its payments, judging by the kneecapping the Hoosiers laid down on the Aggies. And even though there were two teams in maroon and white on the court, there was only one set of fans in those colors, and apparently their Hoosiers have never committed a single foul in their decades of basketball dominance. Having sat with eight different groups of basketball fans throughout the day, I can say that the Indiana fans were far and away the whiniest, even though their team rolled through its opponent with relative ease.
I don't know why I was disinterested in this game -- whether it was the fact that I've been at the arena for going on 10 hours without seeing daylight, or it was a food coma, or it was genuine nonchalance toward a power-conference school and a mid-major that was never in the game -- but all I could do was think about sleep or how awesome VCU's band is.
SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP (I woke up at 6 a.m. to commute to Portland from Eugene, and I couldn't fall asleep until 2 a.m. because of how excited I was to see my first NCAA Tournament game, and only my second game ever that didn't involve Oregon directly. My excitement was off the charts.)
Wait, I just figured out why this game was so unwatchable: Neither side has a point guard. New Mexico State is entirely devoid of an offensive distributor and facilitator, while Indiana lost starting point guard Verdell Jones to a knee injury just before the NCAA Tournament in his senior year. That's why this game was so unwatchable. There were more turnovers in here than in any of Portland's myriad coffee shops. And not the tasty kind, either. The sedating kind.
In news that's more interesting than this basketball game was, during halftime I asked New Mexico State's mascot how he got his guns in through security.
"You'd be amazed at the hoops we have to jump through," he replied through his thick mustache whilst twirling his weapons.
You know, if your team's shots could jump through hoops as well as you do, your team just might be onto something. Instead, your team's superior athleticism was squandered by inefficient ball-handling and indecisive decision-making, and your season ended with a loss.
Courtesy of @mental_floss: "New Mexico State's first graduation class in 1893 had one student. He was shot and killed before graduation. #NCAAFacts"
New Mexico State's basketball team in 2012 had one NCAA Tournament opportunity. The Aggies were shot and killed before celebration. #TMMFacts