Pink puts on an awesome concert. Duke wins ugly, Fla. Gulf Coast is beautiful, and other Madness thoughts. And a breathtaking video from the Anti-Defamation League

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Saturday night found me and the fiance at Izod Center in the Meadowlands of New Jersey, and right off the top I must tell you that the concert was my idea.

Despite being among only 25 percent of the total crowd there Saturday, Pink does have some men fans, me among them. I think she’s fierce and bad-ass but also a great songwriter and as I soon found out, a hell of a live performer.

The 2-hour extravaganza she put on may not have been the best live music show I’ve ever seen, but it’s up there. First of all, the acrobatics were insane. Pink probably soared through the air through half the songs, and the encore had to be seen to be believed; I embedded this video below (skip to the :30 mark for the good stuff) from her recent concert in Montreal to show it; basically she was hooked up to wires and flew all the way around the arena while singing “So What.” It was literally a “Holy Shit” moment for the crowd when she soared all the way to the upper deck, and everyone’s phones were out filming the cool stunt. (Fiance’s comment: “She clearly wanted to be a circus performer as a little kid and then realized she could sing.”)

Besides the acrobatics, she had a terrific cast of backup singers, dancers and musicians, and Pink herself was really sweet with the crowd. Of course, it was a little disturbing to see how many 10-year-old girls were there listening to Pink singing proudly about being a slut and using the F word liberally, but hey, the parents knew what they were in for.

It was a wonderful show done by a performer who gives you your money’s worth, and I highly recommend her tour if it’s in your area.

**I saw this on Sunday and it really struck me as very clever and altogether sad. The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights bigotry and hate all over the country, has put together this video showing what the world may have been like without hate crimes against now-famous people. See what may have become of Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., and Matthew Shepard.

Haunting, brilliant idea, and a video I won’t soon forget.

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**Finally today, some thoughts on the weekend of Madness at the NCAA Tournament, where once again a No. 1 seed fell in the opening week and people were shocked, though I don’t know why, and a little school in Fla. showed us how much fun sports can be:

— Florida Gulf Coast. I mean, what can I say? What an incredible story. A school few had heard of on Friday afternoon is suddenly the talk of the sports world, after becoming the first No. 15 seed to ever reach the Sweet 16. They shocked Georgetown Friday night, then, when most No.15’s falter after having their one “magical” game, they came back and did it again Sunday night, beating San Diego State.
The way the Eagles play is just so much fun to watch; alley-ooping and hitting 3’s and just playing with such verve, such joy. All because a bunch of unrecruited kids went to a small school, bought into what their coach Andy Enfield was selling, and worked their butts off.

I hope they keep winning. They’re too much fun to stop now.

— And my Duke boys had me sweating late into the night Sunday with a difficult, defensively dominated win over Creighton. The final was 66-50 but it was much closer throughout. Both offenses were pretty poor, but Duke’s defense was terrific. The refs called every foul on both teams, to a ridiculous degree, but the Blue Devils survived and now get to play Michigan State in the Sweet 16. The Spartans are my second favorite college hoops team, so I hate this matchup, but it should be a great game.

— Yes, Gonzaga lost, but really, it’s not that much of a shock. The Zags had a great year but didn’t face as much tough competition as others did, so when Wichita State battled them and hit more big shots at the end Saturday night, they crumbled a bit. The Zags may not have ever been worthy of a 1 seed, but it still was a fabulous game by Wichita State.
— This is what I love about the tournament: Because of all the upsets, La Salle or Wichita State will be in a regional final. Crazy.
— Since I was going to be at the Pink concert Sat. night I chose to DVR one game to watch later, and because Butler almost always plays great tournament games, I picked Butler-Marquette. Good choice. It was the game of the day Saturday, beautifully hard-fought and close down to the wire.

Man, those teams are evenly matched. And now they’ll be rivals in the new Big East. Should be terrific.

Whew. I’m exhausted from all that hoops. Can’t wait till Thursday night when it starts all over again.

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