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  • Three weeks of tournament basektball: glorious.

I couldn’t freaking wait to see the championship run begin.

I grew up in a family of Indiana University grads at a time when the Hoosiers were pretty much always good at basketball. And even though they didn’t have their best team in the 1985-86 season, they still earned a number three seed in the NCAA tournament and opened against lowly Cleveland State.

Fittingly, March 14, 1986, was a bright, crisp day—the kind that promises that spring is finally on its way, the world will be renewed, and everything is full of promise. I rushed home from school, turned on the TV, got ready to exult in the moment . . . and watched the Vikings press and run Indiana out of the tournament.

How could it be? It was the first round—and my guys were already done. The days seemed to stretch interminably before me. Plus, what was I going to say to all my friends—those jagoffs who cheered for Michigan or Michigan State?

I spent hours shooting baskets by myself in the driveway, long past the time my hands were too cold to make any.