The Grand Slam is a Washington restaurant and bar at the Grand Hyatt hotel with many television sets and big screens, each of them greedily watched early Friday afternoon. The local team, American, was playing Tennessee on several of the screens. That also was the game I got on my hotel TV.
It was not the game I wanted. I wanted Davidson and Gonzaga. I needed Davidson-Gonzaga. So I hit the Grand Slam and was thrilled to see the game on the featured screen.
The place was packed with fans in town for the West Regional, groups of Georgetown fans and guys in suits skipping work and drinking imported draft beer.
But whoever they were, they cheered for the Wildcats. And the more Stephen Curry scored, the more the fans latched onto Davidson. Every three he hit attracted at least three new fans. As the game wound down, fans were screaming for Davidson.
I heard only one woman cheer for Gonzaga and she might have done it to irritate the guy she was with. The guy wore North Carolina Tar Heels gear and loudly yelled after every Davidson free-throw, basket, near basket, steal, rebound and timeout.
Late in the game, with the Wildcats up by one, the proprietor, in an act of madness, switched the featured screen to American-Tennessee. You should have heard the response. Fans booed, yelled, "Come on!" and generated such an angry ruckus that within 10 seconds Stephen and the fellows returned to the big screen.
In the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, America’s underdog is America’s team. Although Davidson was favored Friday, the Wildcats are America’s team.