March Madness Preview

Huge arenas, crazy student sections, loyal alumni, lovers of the game, energetic cheerleaders, devoted bands, defiant referees, passionate coaches, and the blood, sweat, and tears of some of the most talented college athletes in the world.

From emphatic dunks to buzzer beaters, college basketball rises to new heights and relevance once March rolls around, as the 68-team, single-elimination tournament that caps off the season always seems to stun the world.

The first ever NCAA basketball championship tournament took place in 1939. However, the term “March Madness” was not used back then for this tournament. It didn’t become the well-known term it is today until 1982, when prominent sports announcer Brent Musberger dubbed the tournament “March Madness”. By 1988, the NCAA had trademarked the term for the college basketball tournament.

March Madness caught fire immediately. In 1992, over 34 million people tuned in to watch the final game of the tournament between Duke and Michigan. In 2011, CBS signed a deal to pay about $771 million per year (through 2024) for TV rights to the tournament. To put things in perspective, back in 1982, CBS signed a deal to pay $39 million per year (through 1985) in present day value.

With the popularity of March Madness steadily increasing since then, more people began to join NCAA March Madness bracket pools. Participants fill out a bracket, predicting the outcomes of every game in the tournament, and bet money that their bracket will be the most accurate in the pool.

According to WalletHub’s website, in 2015, an estimated $9 billion was wagered on brackets, with an estimated 70 million brackets created by Americans. In comparison, Barack Obama only received about 66 million votes in the 2012 election.

The odds of predicting a perfect bracket are as low as 9.2 quintillion to one, and as high as 128 billion to one. Meanwhile, the odds of the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl next year are 225 to one, the odds of any Kanye West winning the 2020 presidential election are 100 to one, and the odds of being struck by lightning in a lifetime are 3,000 to one.

A perfect bracket is so unlikely that Warren Buffett offered $1 billion to anyone who created a perfect bracket in 2014. According to NCAA’s website, the longest any 2015 online bracket went without getting a game wrong was 25 games. That bracket was only 38 games away from getting all 63 games right. No one has ever had a verified perfect bracket.

Every team is on upset alert in March. This year, the 68-team field will be announced on March 12, and the madness will begin on March 16, ultimately finishing with the National Championship on April 3 in Phoenix, Arizona.

I am hoping Michigan somehow finds a way to get into the tournament, but right now it’s not looking so good. To me, there aren’t any amazing teams this year that are clear favorites to win it all.

If I were to make a mid-February prediction, I would predict that Kansas wins it all. Kansas may not be the most talented, but experience and maturity goes a long way in March, and between Frank Mason III and Devonte Graham, the Kansas backcourt has quite the experience.



The Student Section

High school athletics means a lot of different things for different people. For some, it’s just an extra curricular to put on a college application. Some people just love being a part of a team. And for many, it’s a ticket to a better education than they could’ve ever imagined.

Whatever the reason, high school sports bring a bunch of kids together to represent their school, and ultimately their community. On the other side, it is the other students’ responsibility to show their support.

Going into this school year, there was definitely a lack of school spirit at my high school. In early September, the gym was quiet for volleyball games. It was boring, and it seemed like everyone was there only because they had to.

It wasn’t a good feeling, being an observing student. I can only assume it wasn’t the ideal home court advantage that the players hoped for either. So, my friends and I decided to start the official student section.

As the fall season went on, we began to see bigger and bigger crowds at volleyball, soccer, and football games. Realizing that our efforts were working, we wanted to expand even more. We decided to create a wild home court presence for basketball season.

In preparation, we made t-shirts that read “6th Man” on the front, with a cougar paw on the back. While there are five basketball players on the court from our school, we wanted the student section to be the 6th man that gave our team an advantage.

In addition, we didn’t even keep the profits. Only concerned with creating a sea of 6th Man shirts at basketball games, we donating the profits to a club that raises money for kids in local hospitals.

Then came the first game. Right after school we blocked off a section of the bleachers with yellow caution tape, went home to wait until game time, and hoped desperately for a good turnout.

A good turnout would’ve been an understatement. Sure enough, soon after the caution tape was taken down, the student section was born. Students flooded into the bleachers, a lot of them never having come to a basketball game before.

Not only was the attendance incredible, but the participation exceeded our expectations as well. Everyone joined in as we yelled, heckled the opposing team, and cheered for our own. We won the game, and from then on, the student section has given our team home court advantage.

Our basketball team boasts a 5-2 home record so far this season, both losses to top 15 teams in the state, a major improvement from last season. After all, 6 men is more than 5.

From Top to Bottom

With the autumn season coming to a late end, it brings a couple things. Frigid temperatures in Jersey, holidays, and a new year. However, the main attraction of winter for me is basketball season.

Last year I played freshman basketball for my high school, and I’d say it was a pretty successful year. We finished with a respectable record, and I led the team in multiple categories. I’m sure at the end of last season I was incredibly satisfied with that.

But now, after a week of practice with JV and Varsity, I am able to put last year in perspective. Yes, it was still a successful year. I made several big strides in the development of my game, and I really established myself as a good outside shooter.

But, as I see practice alongside the rest of the JV and Varsity players, I realize I still have a long way to go. The first week of practice was an entirely new experience, having to bust my ass in each and every drill or sprint.

As I think back to my freshman year, I realize I should not have been as content as I was. I had never been a main scorer for any basketball team, and that definitely affected how hard I worked everyday.

I became too satisfied with hitting a couple threes and finishing with double digit points. And now, looking back on that, I really wished I had put extra work into defensive drills and becoming more fundamentally sound.

With the first game scheduled in less than two weeks, I know that I’m going to have to work hard to earn every minute I can get in each game.

My mentality has changed since last year, and I wish I had figured it out before now. When you are one of the better players in the gym, it’s a lot easier to start to slack and lose tenacity in practice, knowing you are probably going to play a lot in the next game.

But when you’re in a gym with a whole group of players who may be quicker, taller, or even better than you, it’s not an option to give less than 100% during practice. There’s no guarantee of any minutes as of now, and I have to continue to work hard in order to be competitive with the rest of the players in the gym.

The leap from freshman hoops to the next level is more drastic than I thought, and adapting to it has not been easy. However, I know in the first week I’ve made good progress, and I know now that you can’t ever be satisfied or you won’t be able to play at the next level.


The High School World

Through less than a year of high school, I have been introduced to a whole new world of sports. I mean, I would be clicking through channels, and pass over every televised high school sporting event. But now, I find myself desperately searching for a high school basketball game on TV.

The home games at my high school are more of a social event than professional or college games. For example, our school lost every home football game this past fall. And even though I attended all four, I couldn’t tell you the score of any of them the next day. I doubt any high school student could.

Then basketball season came around. I didn’t really think I’d go to a lot of games, but freshman ball got me engaged. I started in every contest, averaging a stellar 10.6 PPG while logging the most minutes per game on the team.

I was very well-known after getting a shoutout on the morning announcements from the principal. She informed the whole school that I had set the record for most 3-pointers in a quarter at our high school.

As you could probably predict, I was completely immersed in high school basketball. That’s how it began. I started to go to my high school’s home games. Last year, the high school team was undefeated at home. This year, not bad, but definitely not undefeated.

Regardless, the games were fun so people went. Definitely better than homework. My first ever high school game (as a student) was Columbia vs Irvington. Irvington won, led by a 6’5” freshman. This kid was insanely talented, using a smooth jumper and throwing down some huge dunks.

After the game, a scout for a Division III college approached a different Irvington player, and they exchanged information. So, I went home and researched this guy, and watched videos of him play. I began to look through all of New Jersey’s high school prospects.

That’s when I realized how cool high school basketball was. Future college players playing against kids I go to school with everyday. I became an expert on NJ high school players, and knew who to watch for in every game.

For example, my high school played its rival, Seton Hall Prep, a few weeks ago. SHP was led by junior guard TJ Gibbs. You could tell he was the best player right as he stepped on the court. Only a junior, Gibbs has offers from esteemed programs such as Uconn, Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Virginia.

In fact, there was a scout from Virginia’s coaching staff in the gym. It was so cool to see future college players play at this level. More recently, St. Anthony’s came to play my high school team. Coming into the game, they had four players with Division I offers.

The final score was 91-44, in St. Anthony’s favor. One of their seniors, Markis McDuffie, had already committed to Wichita State, while another, Jagan Mosely, was being scouted by Louisville. Mosely threw down an insane alley oop in the game, which was caught on video.

Of course, I had that video sent to me immediately. I tweeted the video, tagging Mosely. Thirty minutes later, I check my phone, and find that he retweeted my tweet. After all, he’s just another high school kid. Pretty cool.

I’ve found a new love for high school sports, especially with the local talent. The highest rated high school point guard in the country, Isaiah Briscoe, plays 15 minutes away! He has already committed to Kentucky, and John Calipari attended a tournament that my high school played in, back in December.

And now I find myself obsessed with recruiting, whether it’s Jim Harbaugh’s targets for Michigan, or just monitoring the offers/commitments of local NJ players. Heck, I watch more high school basketball than NBA basketball.

High school has opened up a whole new sports world, one that is entertaining, cheap, and very fun to watch.

Nightmare at The Garden

It’s been quite a basketball season so far. Being a Knicks and University of Michigan fan, I’ve been significantly disappointed with both teams. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say Phil Jackson’s first year with the Knicks isn’t really going as planned.

Other than the Timberwolves, New York has the worst record in the NBA. The Knicks lost 26 games out of 27 in one stretch, and set a franchise record with 16 straight losses. The Knicks are 28th in the league in points per game, and 28th in points per game differential.

Like I said, probably not what Phil Jackson envisioned as his first season in New York. However, knowing that this season is basically hopeless, Jackson has made moves to help for next year.

Recently, the Knicks traded Iman Shumpert and JR Smith to the Cavaliers. The Knicks didn’t receive any notable players in return, but this transaction got rid of two big contracts. Additionally, Phil released Samuel Dalembert, which saved a decent amount of money too.

With only a few players under contract after this year, the Knicks will have a ton of money to spend on free agents. Also, hoping the Knicks lose the majority of their remaining games, they will have a top-3 pick in the draft.

Personally, I think the Knicks should get rid of Jose Calderon. I don’t think he’s the long-term answer at point guard, and it would give Phil more money to spend if Calderon wasn’t under contract.

Nowadays, you need a great point guard to be successful. Let’s take look at the good NBA teams and their point guards. The Warriors with Steph Curry, the Clippers with Chris Paul, the Spurs with Tony Parker, the Trail Blazers with Damien Lillard… I could go on and on. Point is, the best teams have great point guards.

Therefore, if I were Phil Jackson, my first priority would be point guard. Goran Dragic, of the Suns, has given the impression that he would like to play for New York. Another potential target is Reggie Jackson, of the Thunder. I’d prefer Dragic, but both would help the Knicks get back to the playoffs.

In terms of the rest of the lineup, here’s how I see it. Despite swirling rumors, I don’t think Marc Gasol will end up coming to New York next year. He’s a starter in the All-Star game, and I doubt he’ll leave Memphis. That leaves a vacant position at center.

If the Knicks (hopefully) can secure the 1st pick in the draft, I think it’s a no-brainer. Jahlil Okafor, Duke’s center, has shown incredible talent and potential. And, even if the Knicks don’t get the 1st pick, they could always take Karl Towns, Kentucky’s center.

So, I’m hoping the Knicks fill the center position in the draft. I think Carmelo Anthony is at his best when playing power forward. At this position, Carmelo gets favorable matchups which makes it easier for him to generate points. That leaves small forward and shooting guard.

Tobias Harris, the Magic forward, publicly stated that he wanted to win with the Knicks. He will be a free agent this summer. If Phil signs him, that only leaves shooting guard. Tim Hardaway Jr. has a great deal of potential, but I don’t think he’s ready to start on a winning team.

Ideally, the Knicks would sign Bulls guard Jimmy Butler. However, there’s a good chance he stays in Chicago. Another good option is Wesley Matthews, from the Trail Blazers.

A lot of factors will play into the reconstruction of the New York Knicks in the upcoming months, but here’s my ideal lineup going into next year:

PG- Goran Dragic/Reggie Jackson

SG- Jimmy Butler/Wes Matthews

SF- Tobias Harris

PF- Carmelo Anthony

C- Jahlil Okafor

That lineup has a solid balance of experience and youth, and a lot of talent. For now, I just have to hope the Knicks get their younger players experience and lose all of their games. And, despite their horrible record, I think (and hope) Phil Jackson can make the Knicks a playoff-team next year.

Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim Draws Syracuse Fans to Words

He’s coached for over 30 years at Syracuse, with a winning record in every
single season. He’s in the basketball Hall of Fame and has the most wins at a
single school. He’s coached the U.S. National Team. He’s won a national

The man I speak of paid a visit to Words in Maplewood on Tuesday night. His name is Jim Boeheim.

Coach Boeheim, 69, recently published a book, called Bleeding Orange. In this autobiography, Boeheim reflects on his life, and discusses his experiences associated with the game of basketball.


The room was packed, and most people wore their Syracuse orange apparel. At the front of the room with a microphone, Coach Boeheim started by saying that he had caught an acute case of laryngitis, and could barely talk when he woke up that morning. Nonetheless, he followed by saying what a privilege it was to be at Words.

Coach Boeheim then began to talk basketball. He touched on the fact that
Syracuse had lost their three best players from last year (Tyler Ennis, CJ Fair,
Jerami Grant) and who he’s counting on in this season.”We’ve got a senior center, who I think will come into his own this year. Rakim Christmas, I think
he’s gonna be a tremendous player,” Boeheim told the crowd.

Boeheim also discussed his new freshmen for this year. He noted that Kaleb
Joseph, the successor of Tyler Ennis, is a very talented player. He also talked
about Chris McCullough, their freshman forward. “The only difference between him (McCullough) and Carmelo Anthony at the same stage is 25 pounds,” Boeheim said.

That’s a pretty big comparison, as Carmelo Anthony — the all-star forward for the New York Knicks– is arguably one of the best players in the NBA. Boeheim also praised his guards, Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije. Clearly, Jim Boeheim feels good about the talent on his team going into the season.

Coach Boeheim addressed the Syracuse fans, and talked about recruiting for next year, the season of 2015-2016. “We should have a great recruiting year this year, and recruit four or five guys in the top 30 or 40 in the country.”

Boeheim was confident in the way things were going in terms of his basketball program. After about ten minutes of hoops talk, Coach Boeheim signed books, after telling fans it was his first book signing ever. Many people lined up to get their copy of Bleeding Orange signed.

Boeheim personalized the books, writing names along with his signature. I thought that was pretty cool. Everyone eagerly waited on line. One kid asked if they could take Coach Boeheim home!

Unfortunately, that offer was shot down. Of course, Boeheim had to go back to Syracuse, and continue to prepare for the start of the season, which is right around the corner. Ranked 23rd in the country, coming off of a 28-6 record last
year, the Orange look to have another great year under the legendary coach.


The Zen Master Going to Work

I have still been waiting for the Knicks to make a run at the title. The Knicks haven’t been very successful in my lifetime, compared to the Giants or the Rangers. They have had good seasons, but nothing close to a championship.

A few months ago, the Knicks hired Phil Jackson, known as the “Zen Master”. Phil has won 11 championships in his past coaching days. However, with the Knicks, he is the team president and general manager.

Phil came in with a roster that wasn’t very promising. I honestly don’t know if the moves that he has made have been good, yet. Phil made a trade to the Mavericks that gave the Knicks a package including Jose Calderon, and two draft picks. But who knows how that’ll turn out?

He also traded for Quincy Acy, and Travis Outlaw. Additionally, and most importantly, he re-signed Carmelo Anthony. Now, most people declared that the Knicks would never win with Carmelo, due to his style of play and whatever else.

I completely disagree. We can win with ‘Melo, but Phil Jackson just needs to put the right players around him. Basically, nowadays, it takes more than one player to win it all. And that goes for every sport.

First, I think the Knicks need to trade Iman Shumpert. He isn’t that good, and we already have JR Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. at that same position. I know the Cavaliers expressed interest in Shumpert. He’s young, and a good defender, so he must draw interest elsewhere, too.

Either way, all of Phil’s moves made in order to be in better shape for next summer. In the 2015 off-season, the Knicks will have lots of money to sign a great player, maybe two.

I assume Phil’s goal is to win it all in the 2015-2016 season. I say this because currently, the Knicks are nowhere near the Conference Finals. The Bulls have a roster that includes Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, and Joakim Noah: Really good.

The Cavaliers have a roster that could literally go undefeated. Kidding. But they are easily the best team in the NBA, with Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron. So, the Knicks have touh competition in their own conference.

If I were Phil, I’d get rid of Shumpert and maybe upgrade the point guard, so we don’t worry about that position next summer. I would make Timmy Hardaway Jr. the starting SG, and of course Carmelo a starter. I’m not sold on Calderon, but if we do get another solid point guard, we can focus on the two remaining starting positions to fill with good talent.


So hopefully, eventually, Phil puts together a team that will compete for NBA titles.


Middle School Basketball

I vividly remember the day of 6th grade basketball tryouts. I also remember how I didn’t want to tryout, thinking that all the kids were amazing and I had no chance of making it. However, of course, my dad made me do it- and I’m thankful he did.

At tryouts, I was intimated, and nobody knew me. Meanwhile, all the other guys were giving high-fives, and smiling, as if the tryout was pointless. Luckily, I caught the coach’s attention. Ever since then, Coach has always liked me- I think.

Not only did I make it, I was the starting point guard for my first middle school game. In sixth grade, we were pretty good. We ended up with the last seed in the playoffs, and had to play undefeated Verona.

Something obviously clicked, because we pulled off a unpredictable upset, sending us to the championship game. Where? The same place Kyrie Irving won his middle school championship, the same place it’d always be: West Orange.

That was probably one of the best games I have played in, and we came out hot. I remember hitting a three to tie the game with under a minute in overtime, which allowed our shooting guard to hit the game winner with 4.5 seconds left.

Right now, my mom would be saying, “How do you remember all of this?” Anyway, we won.

Seventh grade was a huge wake up call. South Orange got two great players, and they upset us. After that loss, everything went downhill. We lost in the semi finals, to the champions of that year: West Orange.

This year came around, and we already had a few setbacks to start. One of our best players tore his ACL, ending his season. Another good player quit. So we were not very confident in the beginning.

Coach drafted three new players, all of which made immense contributions this year. After playing 2 years already, our team was prepared to get back to the championship.

We did what we were supposed to do in the regular season. Got the 2-seed, and a home playoff game, our first home playoff game ever. The crowd was AWESOME. Big, loud, and rowdy.

We were down at half time. However, the crowd’s energy helped to get us back into the game. I started to hit shots, and so did everyone else. Our team had come together, and we weren’t going down without a fight.

Once we got the lead, we never looked back. The buzzer sounded, and the scoreboard read:

Home- 59

Away- 53

We finished that game on a 30-12 run. We fired up. The championship game, the last game of our middle school career, was just beyond our grasp. So close. Where? Why, of course, the right place for middle school basketball to end: West Orange.

They had won a championship, we had won a championship. This was Game 3, the game that would decide who was the Middle School Champion.

I hate to say it, but we didn’t get the offensive production we needed, at all. Defensively, we executed exceptionally, holding them to 14 points in the 1st half. However, we only had 18. The 2nd half was a little bit less ugly, but turnovers occurred often.

As the final minutes slipped away, they hit shots, we didn’t. We really knew we fell short with under a minute, when the lead was 5 and they were at the charity stripe. We finished with a season low 29 points, losing 36-29.

Despite the outcome, we made it to the end. We fought hard every game and gave every team a run for their money. Except Roseland, we beat them 87-11. This team meant a lot to me, and it sucks that our last game together didn’t go well.

However, I will never forget my middle school hoops team. There was so much talent I can’t even tell you, and not many people can say they were on an 8th grade team with a kid that’s 6’3” (being that I’m 5’3”) and can dunk.

From the first day to the last, I made great memories, friends, and became a solid player thanks to my coaches and teammates.

A Day at the Court

Today was an unusual Sunday for Maplewood in the middle of January- warm. And tomorrow is gonna be 55 and sunny! Not too shabby at all.

Anyway, my friends and I had to take advantage of the rare, warm weather. So, bright and early, after a couple of text messages, we got together at the most evident place: The Dawkins’.

The Dawkins are our family friends and they live pretty close to all of us. They have a nice basketball court that is pretty much always available for our use. Normally, we start off with a pickup game, periodically swapping players to make the teams fair.

At some point, it’ll get boring. In this instance, we resort to a tournament, either 2-on-2 or 3-on-3, which is supposedly more entertaining. I would actually have to agree on that one.

But today, today was a different day. We decided to do something different, something unthought of… Something that would change the world. No, not really. But it was pretty fun.

Instead of another pickup game, we had an idea. It all started when we were scrolling through an app called Vine. To sum it up, Vine is a simple social media app in which you post videos, and you see other people’s videos.

At one point, we came across something awesome. It was a video of five guys pull off a ridiculous alley-oop. We were officially inspired.

The first step was lowering the basket, to allow one of us to actually get a slam dunk. Then, the choreography. That was hard. But finally, we each knew our roles and what we had to do.

And yet, executing it was a lot harder than we thought. Only it was then when we realized how many attempts it must’ve taken to put together that Vine video.

After many tries that were so unsuccessful, we figured that we could never get it as perfect as that spectacular Vine video. However, it was determined that we couldn’t just leave our incredible idea in the dust.

Despite our brief disappointment, we put together a solid video of my friend pulling off some nifty dunks….


Maybe, if I hit my growth spurt soon, I will be able to dunk on a regular sized hoop. Well, I probably shouldn’t count on that. But who knows?

I mean, I definitely won’t be able to throw ’em down like my boy Tim Hardaway Jr. who recently had a monstrous put-back dunk over two defenders. Fresh outta the University of Michigan!

Anyway, maybe we will resume our alley-oop filmmaking tomorrow. However, it was definitely a memorable winter day!

Good To Be Back

It's good to be back. Yesterday was my first game back after missing the first month of basketball due to a torn MCL. The worst part is, I tore my Medial Collateral Ligament in our last soccer game, a game in which we lost 6-0, making our team 0-10 on the season. 

Bottom line, the collision that inflicted this injury was totally unnecessary. That unfortunate collision took place on a Saturday morning, awhile ago. That entire weekend, I couldn't walk. However, my parents insisted that it wasn't anything serious.

By the next Thursday, my parents finally accepted that the swelling and pain wasn't very healthy. So, sure enough, the doctor confirmed that it was bad: Torn MCL, and a tear of the bottom of the quadricep that surrounds the right knee.

Since I am so young, the MCL hadn't fully developed yet. Therefore, I thankfully did not need surgery. In fact, my heeling timetable was much shorter than I thought. But a lot harder than I expected.

I had to painfully watch our basketball team suffer the first loss of the season against Montclair, making us 1-1 on the year. Luckily, games were cancelled due to snow, so I only missed two games.

But of course, I also had to sit out of pickup basketball and football with my friends, along with gym and pretty much the 90% of my life that includes sports. Although, I shouldn't say "sit out", because I always found a way to participate without putting my knee in danger.

On the bright side, I could always watch sports! And yet, I almost couldn't, given that the Knicks are atrocious, the Giants are embarrassing, and I could barely watch Michigan football in their meaningless bowl game last night. Aside from a impressive performance by Shane Morris, TERRIBLE.

Anyway, after a long time, I was cleared to play. Without practicing at all, my first athletic event would be the semifinal of our Holiday Basketball Tournament at Farleigh Dickinson University.

I was so excited to dress up. Suddenly, I feeling of nervousness flushed over me. What if I don't play well? What if I don't play at all? The thought of my knee giving out again didn't occur to me until I was on the floor.

Hey, I was on the floor! But I was nervous. When I first came in, about 12 minutes into the game, I was terrified. But of course, the competitiveness took over. On my first defensive series, Chatam's quick point guard blew past me.

In the 2nd half, I played more. And better. I brought the ball up, staring right at their point guard. I dribbled through my legs, dribbled hard left, hesitated and continued to the basket. I was about to spin, but I felt awkward.

That moment, right there at the block, was the only second I doubted my knee. Instead of spinning, a turned my back to the basket at the block and made a sharp pass inside to our power forward who got the bucket and a foul.

And that was when it all clicked. I never considered my knee again, and I played pretty well for the first game back. No points, but a couple assists and nothing terribly wrong. I was surprised to be in the game with under 2 minutes left, being as close as it was at the time.

But, it obviously worked out, since we are playing for the tournament championship today. And after today's game, it's the SuperBowl: Maplewood vs. South Orange, next Saturday. If you read one of my previous blogs, you'll understand this game. 

I have a basketball tournament championship, and a fantasy football championship today. BIG DAY. Wish me luck!