March Madness has become a part of the fiber of our nation's culture. According to even the most conservative estimate, over 30 million Americans are putting money down on the tournament every year, betting against their friends, relatives, coworkers and more. But you could argue that no one's got more at stake than Doc Rivers.
Emotionally, at least.
There may not be any money on the line, but trash talk has run rampant in the Celtics' locker room this week, as Doc's Marquette Golden Eagles go head to head with the Washington Huskies, alma mater of Celtics newcomer Nate Robinson.
"We don't bet, of course," the coach clarified. "But yes, we have discussed the Marquette spanking of Washington tomorrow. We have talked about it. Nate has talked about it quite a bit, as a matter of fact."
Marquette enters the tournament as the No. 6 seed in the East region, fresh off a 22-win season that included an 11-7 record in an absolutely stacked Big East. Robinson's Huskies snuck into the tournament as a No. 11, winning 24 games and going 11-7 in the Pac 10.
Doc knows his guys are the favorites. But he's not looking past the first round — not with this much pride at stake.
"We have to win that game," Rivers said. "I will say that. It's very important."