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Open your head wide and let the madness inside

As far as college basketball fandom goes, nothing can top the pure joy felt in the hours immediately following a major win like Louisville's over Oklahoma on Sunday. Running a close second to that bliss, I think, is the satisfaction and excitement that carries over until the next game is played.

Of course, everything is ratcheted up a notch once you get to the NCAA Tournament.

We were all excited and nervous in the days leading up to the Boise State game, and I think it's safe to say that those pair of emotions have been augmented after last weekend's events. We're all fully aware that we're going to be nervous wrecks and overall nuisances to the "non-understanders" in our lives for about two hours on Thursday night, but for now, the dream lives, and that's really the only thing that's important.

Because who among us can get through any day without doing at least a little bit of dreaming? Be it your favorite team winning, the cute brunette you saw on your way to work, a surprisingly delicious meal when you get home, or hitting a halfcourt shot to win $1 million at the Final Four (an actual dream conveyed via text message by a poster who shall remain nameless); these are the things make life tolerable.

The joy felt when anticipating something good happening almost always exceeds the joy felt when that something good actually happens. It's a phenomenon that most certainly extends into the sports world, and I think it's the main reason why you see such a craze over things like recruiting, the NFL Draft, and the MLB trade deadline. That bite of chocolate cake is going to be good, but it's not going to be quite as good as it was when you were fighting through that tuna casserole 15 minutes earlier.

The point I'm trying to make (I think) is this: let's enjoy right now. The fact that we spend so much time in the summer and in the fall talking about the potential for an NCAA Tournament run makes it foolish for any of us not to relish these days. For all we know, the team we've watched for the last five months could be national champions in two weeks, and that might not be a dream any of us will be fortunate enough to realistically entertain seven days from now.

So here is my gift to you for this week: for the next three days, I'm giving all of you full permission to spend however much time you feel is necessary at work, school or elsewhere thinking, talking and reading about Louisville basketball. If you have a teacher, professor, boss or spouse who takes issue with this matter, have them shoot me an email. I'm confident in my ability to get everyone on the same page.

Also, in the event that we do win a couple of games this weekend, be sure to check back here for your permission to walk around pantsless at all hours next Monday-Friday.