In sickness and in health, 'til death do you part.  

Or rather 'til your alma mater faces off against your wife's in the Sweet Sixteen on the exact same day as your 27th wedding anniversary.

Erm, well in that case you improvise. For marriage's sake. 

"We're planning on watching the game in different rooms," Jeff Smith told 10News. "I don't think either one of us will be able to say very much to the other one when the game's over, so." 

Jeff and Patty Smith both graduated from college in the summer of 1987. She matriculated from Purdue University in West Lafayette, he did the same over at Rocky Top. They fell in love far from home, in Baton Rouge, but raised their kids with a deep love for both teams. 

Naturally, it was their son Jarrett who first realized their wedding anniversary fell on the same day as the teams' Sweet Sixteen appearance.

"I looked to my friend and said, 'What day is Thursday?'," Jarrett Smith, a football player at  John Hopkins University recalled. "He said, 'March 28th'. I said 'there's no way.'" 

Jarrett broke down his family's March Madness saga for his Twitter followers:

He also texted his parents, who hadn't registered that the big game fell on his special day. 

"We didn't connect right away that it was going to be that date," Pam Smith said. 

As her husband Jeff does recall, Purdue and Tennessee have faced off a total of three times since they got married.  The couple has seen each team cycle through some good and bad seasons, so they hardly hate their spouse's favorite team. On the contrary, they hold a special fondness for both teams. 

"We're both fans of each other's teams as well. We saw the Vols play at Texas A&M last year, we watch all their games," Pam said.

The Smiths
The Smith Family

But in this game, the Sweet Sixteen, the stakes are high enough to warrant a chance to their typically pleasant anniversary plans. 

"I can think of better dates to do it," Pam said. "We're spending a different anniversary than we would have if it had been the next night or something. But we'll get through it."

So, they're watching from separate rooms and hoping for the best. And, if opposites attract, who is the worst loser?

They take a pause.

"We're both pretty bad," they answer simultaneously.

Pretty bad, though far from petty. Thursday night's game aside, they're both focused on what comes next.

"The most critical thing that'll come out of this is whoever wins, must win on Saturday," Pam said. "We need one of our teams to make it to the Final Four."