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I’m on cloud nine this morning, and the first-round exit of the Duke Blue Devils from the NCAA tournament is the reason. But it’s more than the loss of this enemy college basketball team of mine that has me so happy–it’s that they lost to my new hometown college, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Being nearly nine years out of college (I graduated from the University of Maryland and still root for the Terps), my March Madness obsession (when 64 college teams battle it out for the number one position) has pretty much died by this point. But now that we are living in Richmond, Va., my husband and I couldn’t help but get a little swept up in the fever of VCU making it to the Big Dance.

And when it was announced that they would meet Duke in the first round, the whole city got their dander up: “Bring it on,” everyone seemed to say. And that’s what VCU did. The Rams overcame a 13-point first half deficit to catch up to the Blue Devils. But when Duke’s DeMarcus Nelson went “coast-to-coast” and hit a layup to take the lead with 10.3 seconds left, it seemed like VCU’s dreams were over.

But then it happened—those things that make March Madness, well, March Madness. VCU’s sophomore phenom, Eric Maynor, hit a jumper 15 feet out with only 1.8 seconds left to grab the victory. And boy was it delicious.

I had gone upstairs to take my kids to bed while there was still eight minutes left in the game. But as I was singing them to sleep, I did pray a little for VCU to win. Praying for a sports team seems rather silly when we should be asking God for things that really matter. But I’ve always believed that prayers are infinite, and God knows what is really important, and He forgives us for beseeching him in the heat of the moment with trivial requests.

But for VCU’s basketball players, many of whom were on their knees praying for that 15-foot jumper to go in, that prayer was serious. And I’m sure they’re awfully thankful this morning. (Just as I am that Duke lost!)

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