Let the Madness begin!

It’s the first day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, and — thanks to a timely reminder from Quinland — I actually had my bracket ready to go before the first game.

After the first sixteen games, I am 13-3. One of those three losses served me right (I whimsically chose San Diego State over Houston), one could have gone either way (I chose #9 NC State over #8 Seton Hall at the last second), and one was a complete upset. Who would have predicted that fourth-seeded Arizona would get soundly beaten by Buffalo?! Argh.

I did call a couple of upsets, myself. One was another basically-even #8 vs #9, where I chose Alabama over Virginia Tech, but I was thrilled to see that Loyola-Chicago beat Miami with a last-second three-pointer. Q had them, as well, so I got a couple of panicked-then-thrilled live updates from him at the end of the game.

The best thing about Day One, however, is that my Final Four teams — all of whom played today, interestingly — are still alive. Last year, I was seriously hurting after the first round. Fingers crossed that this continues through the second round!

The Other Dream Team

Waiting period...

David and I had date night tonight! He picked me up from work, we got tickets to a movie, went for dinner at La Sirenita (a favorite in NE Portland), stopped by Goodwill (got two Christmas presents from Target overstock!) and then went back to the theater for the movie.

What did we see? Well, tonight was its Portland premiere, but it was not the latest James Bond movie. It was a documentary film called The Other Dream Team, and it was the story of the Lithuanian basketball team that won the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics – beating the former Soviet Union, from whom they had just fought for their independence a few months before.

We are big fans of the Portland Trail Blazers, who drafted Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis in 1986 when he was still a member of the Soviet National Team. (Obviously, the Soviets did not let him come to America at that time, and he ended up entering the NBA as a 31-year-old rookie in 1995.) A prominent member of the Lithuanian team, Sabonis was interviewed at length for the film. This was fun to watch, but the film was compelling on many other levels as well. It was a history of Soviet sports, of Lithuanian patriotism, of the generosity of a band (and their tie-dyed t-shirts).

Do you remember the Lithuanian team getting on the medal stand in their tie-dyed outfits? I do. It was awesome… as was the movie. David’s comment as we left the theater: “That movie was fantastic.” It was.

Go see it if you get the chance. Portlanders, head downtown to the Fox Tower to catch it before its gone.

xo – Lori

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful that we have food on the shelves in our stores, that goods are readily available to buy, that we have the freedom to travel as we choose and to make our own decisions about our lives.

I’m also grateful, of course, for the photo by A.J.85. Thank you!