What a crappy night, at least for people who share my rooting interests.
On the one hand you have Kentucky, aiming for their ninth national championship with a team full of precocious freshmen who have suddenly found an extra couple of gears in March. Great story on many levels. But John Calipari is, arguably, the most reviled coach in the college game. Will all the hype his freshman class got before the season – remember that 40-0 talk? – we’ll never hear the end of it if they pull this off. And he just did the same thing two years ago. There’s no way I can pull for Kentucky.
Then you have UConn. For the second time in four years an unspectacular Huskies team has made a run to the title game on the strength of an unstoppable guard and a supporting cast that does just enough to win. For some, a UConn win will be a story of redemption after the school was banned from the tournament for a year because its recent academic performance. I guess the year off didn’t really hurt them, did it?
The bigger deal for me is UConn winning their fourth title, jumping past KU on the total NCAA titles list.1 That sting will be extra strong knowing UConn’s third title came in 2011, the year when KU had a golden path to the title game and tripped on VCU in the Elite Eight. We can complain about the UTEPs and Rhode Islands and Bradleys and Bucknells and even Northern Iowas. But that VCU loss was the worst ever KU tournament loss.
I don’t think I can root for UConn either.
Looks like I’m watching baseball tonight. It damned well better not be raining in Kansas City…
- KU, of course, claims two titles from before the NCAA era. Which I’m down with. But I also understand that is a list no official media outlet uses. ↩