For the first time since a long time ago, i will not be able to make the first round of the NCAA tournament. Yes, that does induce a mild bout of depression. Butler will have to win the first two rounds without me. Butler plays Thursday at around 4:45 pm which fortunately should allow me to watch the game before going to work. If it wasn't already a shortened week for me, i would still try and get Thursday night covered and spend the $600 to get to San Jose plus hotel and such.
Let's review why missing the post season stings so much for me. The following list shows the year and locations i've traveled to watch Butler basketball over the years in the post-season.
'01-02 - Syracuse - Sitting in a sea of orange, the Bulldogs are defeated by Syracuse in the most exciting overtime game i've seen Butler lose. God-willing, revenging that NIT loss to Syracuse this year will send Butler to the Elite Eight for the first time.
'02-03 - Birmingham/Albany - Quite possibly the trip that cemented my devotion for Butler basketball. As a 12 seed, Butler beat the 5 seed Mississippi State on a runner in the lane by Brandon Miller then went on to beat the 4 seed Louisville to make the sweet 16. Then we took a trip to Albany to watch the Bulldogs fall short against Oklahoma.
'03-05 - off years for Butler
'05-06 - Florida State - Starting to get back on track, Butler makes the NIT making it down to play Florida State in a game they could've won.
'06-07 - Buffalo - Butler again wins two games (over Old Dominion and Maryland) to get to the Sweet 16. Followed them to St. Louis in a great game against an NBA-bound Florida that eventually won their 2nd straight NCAA tourney. Butler lead with under 4 minutes to go.
'07-08 - Birmingham - Back to Birmingham where Butler easily advanced over South Alabama only to fall to Tennessee in overtime. Butler had their chance to win this game, but just could not convert.
'08-09 - Greensboro - The selection committee was generous in having Butler play just up the road from Charlotte. Unfortunately, they looked too young and just did not have the usual Butler way about them and loss to LSU in the opening round.
'09-10 - SAN JOSE - Quite possibly the farthest possible desination from Charlotte other than maybe Spokane. The second strike is that the game is on Thursday when i have to work Thursday night. Strike 3 comes when i am already returning from a trip so it's tough to request more time off. Damn the man.
The good news is the final four will be in Indianapolis and fortunately i am already off the April 3rd weekend.