The NCAA Heist: How Dayton Flyers Stole My $1 Billion
It happened in a flash! As I sat at my desk dreaming about the many, many things I would be doing once a billion dollars had been transferred from Warren Buffett to my account on the evening of April 7th….the news came that the Ohio State Buckeyes had been upset by intrastate rival University of Dayton Flyers. Suddenly the urge to focus on the task at hand became a priority …it was now crystal clear there would be no Tahitian villas, uber fast sports cars, and mega walk in closets filled to the brim with designer duds in my near future…back to that report thingy due at the end of business! All it took was One and I was done!!
Thursday night didn’t do anything to ease the pain. My beloved Sooners came to the Big Dance…doing somebody else’s dance entirely—certainly not the moves that had gotten us a date in the first place. The up tempo pace we’ve shown all year seemed to be off a step…much more to the beat of North Dakota State University. We fought back, went ahead only to have the game tied by the Bison in the last few seconds of regulation. Overtime only prolonged the agony of what was already a disappointing first half of the first round….the Bison emerged as victors. I really can’t take anything away from them, North Dakota that is….they came to play and did so in outstanding fashion.
Not taking anything away from my team either…the season may have ended sooner (yep, I went there) than we wanted, but all in all it was a successful year. Coach Kruger has done marvelous things since taking over the squad. Don’t be surprised to see us making our presence known in many NCAA brackets to come!
As the weekend unfolded, a few other games have managed to stick out in my mind:
All of the richness of their history didn’t keep Duke University’s Blue Devils from falling…hard…to the lesser known Mercer College Bears….the impromptu celebratory dance of a Mercer player went viral almost immediately after their win & with good reason—there really is nothing like the energy of a college kid. Remember how the college basketball season kicks off?…with midnight tip-offs from coast to coast. Can you imagine the same thing taking place in the NBA? Ummm, not even!
The Cinderella team of a few years ago, Virginia Commonwealth University Rams, suffered a tough loss with a few self-inflicted wounds near the end of regulation. Can’t blame the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin for capitalizing and taking their second chance straight to the win column….that’s why the game is played.
My bracket was folded and placed on the stack of this week’s recyclables when news came that Kansas had lost a close one to Stanford…if a billion hadn’t already slipped through my hands Thursday—it would have done so today because I had the Jayhawks picked to hoist the trophy in North Texas on the first Monday night in April!
It appeared as though Dayton wasn’t quite finished with making mincemeat of the brackets…the Orangemen of Syracuse were dismissed—putting a season that began with an impressive winning streak in the rearview mirror….
The Duke Blue Devils will soon be joined by their neighbors, the University of North Carolina Tarheels after losing a close one to the Cyclones of Iowa State (Big 12 Baaabyy!)….
Hands down the best game of the weekend was Kentucky Wildcats versus the unbeaten Wichita State Shockers. As mentioned before, the Shockers had been dealt a tough hand by the Selection Committee. But make no mistake about it, those young men rose to the occasion, showed up and showed out…right along with the Wildcats. It was hard for me to walk away from the television to get so much as a drink of much needed water…it turns out yelling takes a lot out of the vocal chords. In the end, it was a “w” for Kentucky. Quiet as it is kept, I’m chalking this one up to a coaching duel as the deciding factor….a two point shot wouldn’t have hurt—just saying!!
Well, it took a minute or two to accept that I won’t be invited to the Billionaire’s Club just yet….but I’m still enjoying this rollercoaster ride called March Madness….besides, there’s always next year and Tahiti isn’t going anywhere!