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Twas the Night Before March Madness

And all through the state..

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Twas the night before Madness and all Old Gold and Black. Were scrambling for limited tickets and rushing to pack.

Fresh throwbacks were placed in the duffel unstained, In hopes that the juju of Big Dog remained.

The Paint Crew was nestled all snug in their beds, While young Boilers all over prepare at home,

T-Mill in his kerchief with journalist status, Had started to dream of Dance tickets gratis.

When just outside Mackey there rose such a clatter, We stopped in our cars to see what’s the matter

Neil’s moon lit the crest of the bright Mackey dome, Giving luster of mid-day to the vista below.

When my eyes found their focus to make sense of this mystery, I gleaned 16 young lads on a quest to make history. A graying old baller was herding his brood, He encouraged their haste by insisting they MOOOOOVE!

More rapid than Hawkeyes his charges they came ,And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

Now Tre! Now Jaden! Now Sasha! Now Hunter! On Mason! On Brandon! On Edey and Wheeler!

To the bus to Indianapolis we go, To dash all the hopes of our first two round foes.

A season long stay in and out of the Top 25, Has welled pride in the hearts of all Boilers alive. But greedy we are and we want so much more,

To assuage epic heartbreak of seasons before. Our offensive weapons make our prospects seem sunny,

We rain from all over, be it long ball or bunny. We get in your shorts and Lock Down defend,

We will never give up, we Play Hard to the end. Then encountering trouble, we look to the block,

Feed ball to the Towers - they’ll bury the rock. Our big men challenge their overmatched foes, To defend and risk foul or let monster jams go.

As the bad guys grow weary, we hit them again, With a long bench of talent, seemingly without end.

As the tired defense sags and begs for compassion, We kick the ball out to our 3 point assassins.

Our new kids are stellar and cause us to shout. Young Brandon is a gamer and shoots it lights out. Momma Edey brought us a gift known as the Big Maple, With talent more sick than a Gene Keady’s wig.

This year will be different, we promise each other, Citing countless examples, one after another. The level of talent is clearly absurd, A deep tourney run doubtlessly is assured.

And now it is Gameday and I hear from the floor, The warmup of Boilers preparing to score. The chants of the Paint Crew, the strains of the Band, Make clear Boiler Nation is taking a stand!

These boys feel the magic and what do I see, But efficient ball handling that’s turnover free! As foe’s fouls mount and their faces go blank, We swish countless freebees, all net and no clank!

Cinderellas have fallen as the Ides of March wane, Boilermakers roll on, an unstoppable train. Matty’s process is solid, the method refined, Driving all Purdue fans fully out of our minds.

In an Indianapolis hotel our boys wake in their rooms. For this is the day that they finish their quest, On this night win a Banner by giving their best.

In this city that sent many Boilers to space, How just would it be to win all in this place? For Rick, for Joe, for Big Dog and Robbie, Let’s finish the job - no more reason to lobby.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work, Up the ladder with scissors, a Champion’s perk. BOILER UP screamed the faithful, drunk with feelings so new, He stayed quietly humble - Ever Grateful, Ever True.