I'll be honest; I don't normally follow sports too closely. Unless it's for a story I'm covering -- the Dallas Mavericks' run for the NBA Championship or the Texas Rangers doing their darndest to win a penant -- I just don't have much time to invest in any spectator sport.
The exception for me, and I'm sure for most parents, is when my own kids are involved, even in a minor way. My son played freshman basketball this year at Arlington Martin High School. That's why my wife and I became active in the Martin Warriors Basketball Booster Club, my wife designing the team's game program and I doing the PA announcing for the girls' and the boys' home games.
That's how the Ryans came to know the Babb family, whose younger son, Nick, is on Martin's varsity team and whose older son, Chris, is a junior and a star player for Iowa State University, whose championship hopes were dashed on Sunday by the Ohio State Buckeyes. (I think it's due in no small measure to the ankle sprain that took Chris Babb out in the half.)
The Babb Connection is the main reason I got interested in watching March Madness last week. And then came Florida Gulf Coast University. That little team that could is suddenly a reason in and of itself for even the casual sports fan to pay close attention to the Sweet 16 and the Final 4.
Now that some of the action is moving to North Texas and Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, we can expect many new devotees of college basketball to emerge. And I can't wait!