I'm not a basketball fan and not very knowledgeable about the game. We played hockey as kids.
Just the guy we want to enter our pool! How much extra cash do you have on hand?
A bit surprising, since the Celtics weren't too bad in the 60's.
For instance I am always baffled by which guy they call the foul on.
So are most fans and announcers. The officials are getting worse and worse each year. General rule of thumb for the casual fan: Duke players will get the benefit of all the calls. Duke players also believe that good defensive form is flopping under the basket (before any contact is made) with your face stuck in the shooter's crotch. (That will flush out any Dookies on this board.
There must be 2 dozen teams that are whining right now because they did not make 'The Dance'. Come on! 65 teams make it. If you are not obviously among the top 65 teams in the country, do you really have a complaint coming?
Like the calls made by the refs, the selection criteria seems to change randomly year to year. Plus, a ticket to the Big Dance also means $$$ for a school in terms of reimbursement to the school (or school's conference) plus added national visibility for the school. After a Final Four appearance or a deep run in the tourney, a school generally sees a huge bump in applications and alumni donations the following year.
Like you I grew up in the Northeast, but ever since I went to an ACC school for grad school, college basketball and March Madness is the sport I follow the most. College basketball is a religion in the state of North Carolina.
March Madness is the only major sporting event in the country where just about every casual fan has at least a minor connection to one of the 65 schools in the Big Dance.