March Madness Special – Opening Rounds

How is your bracket doing?  I’m in some trouble.  But I think with 2 #2 seeds falling to start off and other upsets peppered in, I may not be the only one.   I am NOT an avid college hoops guy, but I do enjoy tournament time.  The quality of the play, the breathlessness of upsets and potential upsets, the drama of buzzer beaters and win-or-go-home reality of the brackets make for a great 3 weeks every March.

I admit that My knowledge about college ball is not vast.  I know that I like to cheer for the underdog.  I also know you usually find Duke, NC, Kentucky in high seeds.  They are  powerhouse programs and always seem to be in contention for the championship.  I am also a fan of the movie Hoosiers, so I have a soft spot in my heart for Indiana basketball.  So I decided, now that the tournament has begun, I better find some teams (or rather) players to invest some interest in watching. And 2 of the above schools came up immediately in my hunt.  I would like to bring your attention to the Zeller brothers.  There are 3 of them, Cody, the youngest, playing for the Hoosiers, Tyler, playing for North Carolina, and Luke, the oldest that played for Notre Dame, and is now in the NBA D- League in the San Antonio Spurs organization after some stints in other countries.

Cody Zeller

Luke Zeller

Tyler Zeller

In this article from Sharing the Victory Magazine, you can read about their upbringing on an Iowa farm, the closeness as a family, and their deep-rooted faith in God that took hold for each of them as teenagers, and the desire they have to impact lives for Christ through their play on the court and their efforts off the court.  Also mentioned is DistinXion – an family run organization that teaches leadership and character skills through basketball and cheer-leading.  According to their website, the Zellers’ dad Steve asked coaches that were recruiting his sons what asset they (coaches) wished more recruits possessed, and the answer that came back most often was “good character”.  From there DistinXion was birthed.  The Zeller’s boys offer sports camps, tournaments and training to build character and leadership skills in young basketball players and cheerleaders.  It is so cool to see this undertaking and responsibility put in place from these young men that are not far out of high school themselves.

I was glad to find this story, for some non-game related points of interest for the tournament.  I’ll keep my eyes open for more in the rest of the tournament.  Check back on Wednesday for more NCAA related posts.  In the meantime, hope your bracket isn’t busted yet!

Zeller parents cheering for NC and Indiana


One Comment

  1. Just keep rooting for IU! I live 20 miles south of there, so they’re my favorite team! Also, have loved the Zellers since Luke was playing. They’re from around an hour southwest of here and I’ve been there too. I have IU playing Carolina in the championship game, so although my bracket doesn’t look too good, that’s still in tact. I always have IU winning it all every time they’re in the tournament, picking who I want to win the games, not necessarily who should win. I did have Ohio making the Sweet 16 too!

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