MCM 2019: March Madness

From my “March Madness preview” about ten days ago:

“It has been 37 years since I watched the Braves defat the University of Tulsa 82-79 to clinch the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. Although they lost the MVC tournament semifinal to archival Illinois State, they did make a run to the 1982 National Invitational title. I was in the stands for the quarterfinal victory over Tulane that put them in the semifinals to be played at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Courtesy of my high school speech therapist I got a chance to work Bradley games my sophomore and junior year (1985 thru 1987).

My beloved Braves have had a long, rough year plagued with issues on scoring points. They have had a brief revival of a four game winning streak, ended abruptly with a 77-68 loss at Drake on Wednesday. Starting today, they have three games left, and sit in a four team jam at 7-8, just outside the top six teams that will receive first round byes in the conference tournament. If Bradley finishes 7th or lower, they will play the dreaded Thursday play-in game, and will need four straight wins to win the tournament and the trip to the Big Dance.

Today the braves host dead-last Evansville, then host Valparaiso, one of the teams that they are tied at 7-8 with. They end the regular season next Saturday at defending champion Loyola of Chicago, Bradley REALLY needs to sweep all three games and get that top-six birth; from there, anything can happen. The Braves did beat Loyola at home earlier this season…if that means anything.”

Sunday, March 10, 4:20 p.m. EST: Bradley 57, Northern Iowa 54.

MVC Tournament Champions for the first time since 1988, and first NCAA bid of any kind since 2006.

I couldn’t pick out any of the current roster out of a police lineup, but I DO know that fourth-year head coach started his Bradley career with a roster of eight freshman. Three of them took the floor in today’s starting lineup.

The game started out like butt for the Braves. They couldn’t shoot field goals, they couldn’t shoot free throws, and they couldn’t defend UNI’s three point shooting. Despite a brief rally, BU trailed the Panthers 27-15 at the half. On merit.

The Braves were down 18 with about 14 1/2 minutes to go, and then they got HOT. The defense made some stops, they Braves shooting got much better, and wouldn’t you know it, they Braves drew a flagrant foul 1…four straight unopposed (no rebounding the miss) and the ball.

“Please, God…please, God…” four times, and four times he made the free throws. The Braves inbounded on the next possession and got the bucket. BU 56, UNI 50. After a nervous final minute plus, two more free throws and a missed Panther three pointer…

…and there you go.

A week ago last Saturday the Braves got rolled at Loyola-Chicago. I stopped watching the game with about ten minutes to go, thinking that the Braves were headed for the Thursday Matinee of Horror. They ended up as the fifth seed with a bye to the quarterfinals. For the record, UNI was the sixth seed, finishing 9-9 and ending 2019 at 16-18…

…and there you go. Anything can happen.

Now that I’ve been back at the gym for about a month, it’s time to really start working out. Here’s my proposed weight increases for the next 30 days:

  1. Leg press: 80 to 100 lbs.
  2. Chest press: 60 to 80 lbs.
  3. Lateral pulldown: 60 to 80 lbs.
  4. Overhead (dumbbell) shoulder press: (2 x 15 lbs.) x 12 reps
  5. Leg extension: 80 to 100 lbs.
  6. Bicep curl (dumbbell): (2 x 15 lbs.) x 12 reps
  7. Leg curl: 80 to 100 lbs.
  8. Abs curl: 100 to 120 lbs.

All of this is subject to me being able to perform 12 repetitions of each exercise, using proper form and technique. My focus is on gradually building a physique that is able to withstand the rigors of training for a marathon. I’m not gonna be the next Arnold, but if my legs can go 26.2 miles without straining my hamstrings, thighs groin, or ligaments, then it’s all good.

I am also lengthening my elliptical time from 32 to 47 minutes, with the goal of burning more calories and helping me get back to my running form. I am thinking first week of April (April 2 to be exact) before I actually hit the road.

I t has been months since I actually hit the scale, and I’m getting ready for another double dose of MLS Soccer with a side of DiGiorno’s Deep Dish pizza for the second game. I’ll probably weigh in before I start my trek to the gym tomorrow morning.

Song of the Day: three random tracks because MLS is stating in about 60 seconds:

Kasabian/”Club Foot:” band named themselves after on of the Symbionese Liberation Army members that kidnapped Patricia Hearst. or was she a member of the Manson family? Good trivia question. This band plays some killer make you wanna jump up and down stuff, tho’.

Led Zeppelin/”Immigrant Song:” “On we sweep with/A threshing oar/Our only goal is the western shore!” Yes I picked this over Kashmir. My blog, my rules.

Iron Maiden/”Run to the Hills:” Bradley University adopted the nom de guerre of “Braves” in reference to the Native American influence on the Peoria area. If I could go to the Braves upcoming NCAA game, I would attend in full “Injun” headdress, war paint, and leather made trousers and moccasins, political correctness and social justice warriors be damned. By the way, I didn’t know there was a seven minute version of this song, unless this version is about two minutes of silence…DAMMITT!!!

Sorry, game’s on…talk to you tomorrow.

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