NCAA Hoops 2014: And Then There Were Four
Kentucky -- can youth take it all?
Just as the month of March has come and gone so have the hopes and dreams of many teams--64 to be exact.
By now these starters and back-ups alike are probably in the acceptance stage of the grieving process. The stage where realization--that there will be no confetti streaming from the ceiling, or microphones shoved in their faces as a reporter asks something deep like “how do you feel:?”, or a kiss planted on the championship trophy forever immortalized in a selfie…collides with the notion of how close they were to winning it all---surely if they made it this far, this year, the college basketball world will be their oyster next season! Painful I know; it is the same thing I’ve been feeling about the loss of a billion dollars—here’s hoping Warren is back to more of the same next year!!
As the Madness began to wear off, so rolled in the month of April and a down to the matter of facts attitude. It is now time to wrap up this bracket-gone-bananas thing on a big stage. Mix in the added drama of setting up the hardwood court in one of the most celebrated sports venues in the country, Jerry’s Place right outside of Dallas...even visiting foes of the Cowboys marvel at the magnificence. Didn’t we mention this was the BIG stage?
First and foremost, thanking the NCAA—an organization very seldom worthy of such a thing—for the Final Four being played on my birthday. Way to come through! Now if we can just get you to work on some other things, like not micro-managing an athlete getting extra cheese on a burger when the guidelines clearly say no.extra.cheese.on.a.burger!
Back to the games…Connecticut’s Huskies were relatively quiet all year….but in the tourney? Not so much. They’d like nothing better than to carry their momentum straight to the end of the winning streak…including a remarkable undefeated run through their own conference…that is being enjoyed by the SEC Champion Florida Gators. This ought to be a good one…so good it is rather hard to call…but I’m going to anyway. It’ll be UConn jerseys gathered around a big screen, watching the late game…waiting to see who they’ll be meeting Monday night!
If their Elite Eight performances were any indication, the late game matchup of the Wisconsin Badgers versus the Wildcats of Kentucky, has all the makings of major Monday a.m. water cooler analyses. Wisconsin has represented the Big 10 quite well no doubt…toppling Arizona—a team that maintained high rankings throughout the season—was no easy feat. I’m of the strong belief Saturday night will be the end of the road and the beginning of the grieving process for the Badgers….Kentucky’s 2014 version of the Fab Five…freshmen, that is….have methodically let the Selection Committee know—an eight seed? This is a joke right?I’m looking forward to blowing out what will be relatively few candles on my cake…wink wink…then settling in for a few hours of some epic style college basketball…
May the best teams win!!