The perfect sporting event, continues to evolve and build upon its own perfection.
About the only way to screw up something this good, is if you tried to pay the players and make it a quasi-pro league. But let’s not go there today, shall we?
If you didn’t absorb and delight over all of these games this weekend, you have no sporting soul. You don’t know pure team joy, and pure team devastation when you see it. The NCAA tournament is so good, for so many reasons. But in the end, it always comes back to two things.
Young men doing silly dances with their coach. Young men reduced to tears…. with their coach.
My god, it’s so fantastic, every time. Every year.
So without running down the clock any further, let’s get to some things.
So much thanks and love to the 1200+ of you people who signed up for our league, with nothing but a $100 gift card at stake, and a few signed basketballs. That’s very impressive. And I hope you loved the game as much as I did. Of course, as of bedtime on Saturday night, I went to sleep… gulp… in DEAD FIRST PLACE. Out of 1200 folks! Damn! It was dizzying. It was neat. And hell NO, I didn’t tank on purpose Sunday. I choked. Period. I wanted to win this bitch bad, and YES.. I would have taken the $100 card without any hesitation. I won. I didn’t cheat. You and everyone else could see my picks. I would have taken that C-note! And thrown my own autographed basketball in the trash!
Game of the Weekend
Kentucky vs. Wichita State. I mean, nothing else came close. And I was so heavily invested in the Shockers for some odd reason, I got “that feeling.” You know that “sports fan feeling?” Pit in your stomach. Adrenaline pumping through your brain. Tension headache. It was cool. I rarely have “that feeling” anymore, since none of my teams have really played in a big time game that really matters. But since I went “two fists deep” on WSU, and since I have no use hearing any more about John Calipari’s latest layover class of future Toronto Raptors, I watched this game like I was a 5th generation son of Wichita.
In the end… F the Harrison twins. They were great. And of course, WSU just let too many small things add up against them. VanVleet got two quick fouls, and took a hard fall. He was never the same. Concussion? Baker got blocked three separate times on layups or dunks. Twice, WSU missed BOTH ends of a 2-shot foul. They gave balls right back to Kentucky after getting gift turnovers. There was a badly missed out of bounds call that went UK’s way. (that replay system is so well implemented. Glad it really catches all the wrong calls in a timely and consistent fashion. Yeahhh….) Early missed an alley-oop when he was 8 feet above the rim.
And like I said: F the Harrison’s. I don’t know which one hit the dagger banked-three at the end of a crushing defensive stand at 60-60, but at that point, I knew that Wichita State and my brackets were in worse shape than Lindsay Lohan at a Charlie Sheen pool party.
Now the entire media universe will shove the L’Ville v. Kentucky game down our throats until we choke. It’s a game many of us can only root for the proverbial “roof collapse” as a happy outcome.
Jim Boeheim is the big loser, but that’s probably old news to everyone now. Just retire already, you dick. Win with class, lose with more class. Don’t say whiny shit like “I’m not going to talk about Dayton. Why would I do that?”
Roy Williams was the big winner. When the clock operator screwed up at the end of that game, and the refs had to break the bad news, Roy absorbed it like a gentleman, and accepted it. Do you have any idea how many coaches would have gone bat-shit crazy, on the 1% chance it somehow intimidated the refs into giving them one last pop with a second (or less) to go? Roy and The Mayor had a classy moment there, and it reaffirmed my faith that sportsmanship still lives and breathes.
No, Really? Wow. Shocked!
All of the teams that had a “don’t buy” rating on them as deep tourney teams, pretty much lived up to that rating, despite their high seedings. Kansas, Syracuse, Duke, Villanova and .. yes… Wichita State, all sent home. And as it often happens, when there are lots of Round 1 Cinderellas, the glass slipper usually gets crushed underfoot the next game. The only exceptions is Dayton. SF Austin, Mercer, and ND State all got annihilated.
Speech of the Weekend
North Dakota State’s head coach Saul Phillips. Powerful, awesome stuff. “It’s why I do, what I do.” Well said coach. Barkley can tease you all he wants. Don’t worry. HE is the one with the pathetic golf game, the size 48 pants, the arrest for a stoplight blowjob, and the deadbeat debts to Vegas casinos.