If you’ve lived in Indiana your entire life, you have a relatively firm grasp on the concept of it.
And what exactly is it, you ask?
You know the feeling we experience when on the verge of witnessing eight consecutive weeks of postseason basketball at the high school level?
To Hoosiers, the ingredients of it depend solely on the individual.
Warmer outside temperatures teasing us how spring could be arriving sooner than anticipated have been known to play a role.
Combine this with the heightened anticipation of sectional competition and you have … it.
Moreover, the deeper into the tournament your favorite team goes, the more it there is.
Regional runs put together last season by the Center Grove, Edinburgh and Indian Creek girls squads contained a healthy portion. Greenwood Christian Academy’s boys advancing to the title game of the Class A regional at Martinsville a few years ago created special memories Cougars fans will never forget.
However, the best — and loudest — recent example of it came during the postseason run put together by the Edinburgh boys program in 2011-12.
Entering its own sectional with an 18-2 record, the Lancers disposed of Central Christian, Morristown and Indianapolis Lutheran. After winning regional games by 19 and 22 points, the Edinburgh bandwagon risked blowing out all four tires due to the number of people climbing aboard. The Lancers were about to make the program’s first semistate appearance since 1951.
It was in the air.
Loogootee put together a second-half rally and defeated the Lancers at the semistate on its way to capturing the Class A state championship.
But even in defeat, Edinburgh won.
I wouldn’t be shocked if most the 7,124 fans shoehorned into Southport Fieldhouse on that unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon in March are able to point to where they sat, or close to it, for the remainder of their days.
With three Johnson County girls team playing sectional games this evening, we’ll soon know if a local program is capable of creating such magic.
Maybe there is a team that literally can save its best for last and muster two or three weeks of serious it.
Franklin’s 1997-98 squad reached the Class 3A state finals (and semistate the following winter); Center Grove produced semistate qualifiers in 2000 and 2007. Indian Creek has made it to regional three of the past six seasons.
The it yardstick in girls hoops remains Center Grove winning the single-class state title in 1996 against Valparaiso inside Market Square Arena. The ultimate had been achieved. No more games to be played or nets to be brought home.
A lifetime of it.