In the Land of Giants


Was it me, or did it feel like Wisconsin was playing an NBA team on Saturday night?

No? You too? Good, I knew I wasn’t crazy.

Watching that game was like a combination of the title games in both Hoosiers and Friday Night Lights. The scrappies  vs. the powerhouse program, with just monstrously bigger, faster, meaner players.

Only in Hoosiers, the scrappies won. And in Friday Night Lights, they came up just short at the goal-line. Which is exactly how this semi-final could have gone. A true “make-it/miss-it” game. Aaron Harrison had no business making that three.

Except, that’s all he does.

I would argue that’s the shot Wisconsin WANTED him to take. Kentucky made two three’s the whole night. The first basket of the game. And the last.

The Badgers played almost the perfect game. Hit every free throw, until Traveon Jackson missed the one they needed the most. To think he’ll have to live with that the rest of his life, is utterly cruel. Or what about Josh Gasser, who will no doubt wake up in cold sweats for many years, reaching his hands up to the bedpost, hoping to get a piece of that Harrison three as it lives on in his head as a ghost.

This the cruel residue of sports. Period. It is what makes the games we love, so worth watching and yes, giving a crap about.

Of course, some will say Wisconsin had no business even being that close at the end. Who was this “Bronson Koenig” and what business does he have pouring in 11 points when he barely plays? And excuse me, but “Duje Dukan”? Check this guy’s credential? What does some helmet-haired gate-crasher wearing #13 have to do with this?

And yeah, Jackson walked on the pump-fake three that led to his free throws. Too bad replay couldn’t fix that, eh? If Kentucky loses on that play, what are people saying about replay then? If Jackson didn’t walk, but still missed that first free throw because he was needlessly iced by a 3 minute delay to stare at TV monitors, how is that justice?

Give credit to Calipari and Big Blue. The Death Star, is not destroyed by any means. Like Jordan Belfort said in a maniacal frenzy in the Wolf of Wall Street: “The show goes on!”

Hard to believe neither Kentucky or UConn were even RANKED before Selection Sunday filled out the brackets. Now, they are 40 minutes from another title, before dispersing the obscene talent to the pros.

Go, get out of here you Pelicans, Bobcats, Grizzlies and Raptors!

And the plucky Badgers had ’em. Had ’em dead to rights. Just like Wichita State, Louisville, and Michigan.


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