Each year, the month March rolls around, and a strange thing happens to the state of Connecticut. Suddenly, we Nutmegers (yes, we’re the freaking Nutmeg State) have a reason to be proud of ourselves. Why this sudden lack of apathy for our homeland, you ask? The NCAA basketball tournament.
When it comes to strategically maneuvering 5 players on a court in attempt to put a ball through a circle, the University of Connecticut men’s and women’s basketball teams have had their fair share of success over the last two and a half decades. The men’s team has appeared in the tournament a whopping 19 times in the last 24 years, with 5 Final Four appearances, and 3 National Championship titles. The women first made the tournament in 1989 and haven’t missed it since, amassing a ridiculous 15 Final Four appearances and 8 National Championship titles.
This year, both the men’s and women’s teams have earned spots in the National Title game, and once again, we, Connecticutions (we’re not good at this whole nickname thing), have removed the bags from our heads and proudly thrust ourselves into the public sphere. Suddenly, my twitter is alive with “#CTPride” and “Huskie4Life”, phrases one wouldn’t dare utter on any social media platform between May and February. That one article of UCONN apparel (that of all of us Connecticut people own) has started to make more frequent appearances in our weekly wardrobe, and when we tell people what state we call our home, there is now a lengthened pause before the ensuing scoff and eye-roll. It is a beautiful month, indeed.
So my fellow Constitutioners (…I know), let’s take the time to soak this in. Enjoy this. Really savor it. Because in a week or two we’ll be sitting on our coach, spilling guac’ on our Nantucket shorts, flipping through the channels without a single thing to cheer for.