I didn't write any new draft words tonight. I did jot down the relevant bits of the chapter I just finished for my after-the-fact outline (keeps my head straight to know where I've been), and I figured out a few ideas for the next chapter. But I was a bit distracted.
For just about as long as Mark and I have been together, I've joined him and his brother John in their annual bragging-rights-only NCAA mens basketball bracket competition. I don't follow sports closely enough to have the first clue about what teams are more likely to win over any other, and whenever Notre Dame is in the tournament, I always without fail have them going all the way, no matter if Duke is having a near perfect season or whatever. Call me stupid, call me loyal--I figure if I'm so lost on the rest of the teams, why not root for the alma mater?
Well, this year, the competition came down to the last 18.2 seconds of tonight's championship game. Usually, someone clinches the win by the Final Four, and the championship game means nothing for our little bracket challenge. Last year was by far the most egregious example: John won with 95 points, Mark came in second with 67, and I brought up the rear with a very pathetic 35. This year, however, John and I were tied at 62 going into the championship game (Mark had only barely been beaten at 61 points). The winner would be determined by the tiebreaker of the game's final point total, which had to be picked before the tournament began, at the same time the brackets were filled in.
And that's where it got extra fun. I had picked a very high scoring game, with a total of 173. John had low-balled the game at 110. If Kansas and Memphis together scored 141 points or less, John would win this year's bracket challenge. If they scored 142 or more, I would win.
Point #142 came with 18.2 seconds left in overtime, and bobbled and teetered and bounced and rolled around the rim and drew out the suspense as if it knew it was deciding something for someone somewhere. Point #143, the last point of the game, was just gravy.
It's a shame statistics indicate such a close bracket challenge will not occur again. It made for a lot of fun.