I watched as my bracket fell apart. As Memphis had stomped all over Maryland, so Missouri (Mizzou) stomped on Memphis.
I sat at a bar next to a friend (a guy friend--and yes, this is pertinent to the story) and watched the drama unfold.
Tigers were playing against Tigers and so, yes, a team of Tigers would inevitably win. Unfortunately, the winners were the other Tigers.
In the other match up, Villanova made Duke look not so well, and I had already predicted Nova's win. I wasn't as interested in that game.
The man next to my friend said, "So she's a Duke fan? All women are fans of Duke. She wants them to win the whole thing right?"
"Oh, no," he demurred, "she's most interested in the Memphis game. She wants them to win this thing."
"Don't worry about that, baby" said the stranger. "They're not going to win. You can concentrate on this game over here now."
"Why?" I asked. "Why should we care about the inevitable? Villanova will win that game."
And then Memphis got within seven.
I ignored the stranger and cheered at the flat screen television.
In the end, there was no comeback, no miracle, and no win for Memphis, but let me tell you something. I am tired of being condescended to about my choices for the NCAA tournament. I don't have anything against people who pick teams based on colors or mascots or a feeling or love (or hatred) for a certain city or state. With this tournament, there are times when anything goes, and in the end the bracket choices are all about fun.
However, I try to pay attention to college basketball and make (what I'd like to think are) informed choices. And just because I am a woman, that man shouldn't have assumed I love Duke and am just sitting at a bar watching basketball because some man wanted me there.