As they say “nobody’s perfect”! Nowhere is that more apparent than the NCAA basketball ranks….
By the end of the holiday weekend, Duke University’s Blue Devils were the team hoisting a championship trophy while maintaining thousand watt smiles barely seen behind confetti and hugs from well wishers. Unlike the Michigan State Spartans in the Final Four game, the University of Wisconsin Badgers didn’t go without a fight….the tightly contested match-up didn’t disappoint. Spectators literally could not predict a winner—until only about 5 minutes or so were left on the clock…by then, Duke’s players had a commanding pep in their step, an all but sure guarantee that “one for the thumb” would be captured for Coach K!
Bad news for countless brackets was the loss by the Kentucky Wildcats in what would be recorded as their only loss this season. In the end, what resulted was the exact opposite of what I predicted….that Kentucky would not go unbeaten during the regular season but would be downright unstoppable during the tourney!
Although I believe in giving one’s best…I’ve yet to become a fan of undefeated seasons. Sure those records sound and even look great– however, a loss at the most inopportune time can be absolutely devastating! Ask the NFL’s Patriots how warm and fuzzy they feel about an undefeated regular season…only to lose the Super Bowl to the Giants—a team that had struggled mightily to even gain entry into the playoffs. After all, Kentucky did beat Wisconsin during the regular season…yet, I’m willing to bet that brings them no solace whatsoever!!
By contrast, the loss suffered during the regular season by UConn’s Lady Huskies probably seems like yesteryear in their minds! In fact, the taste of that loss appeared to be what drove them to Tampa!
UConn put the hopes and dreams of the Lady Terps on the backburner as they faced a familiar foe in Notre Dame….who had come out on the winning end of a nail biter with the Lady Gamecocks. On a spring evening in Florida, it was Coach Geno’s fully stocked roster winning its phenomenal 10th, yep, 10th championship!
The days are numbered on the NBA’s regular season. While some have already punched tickets to the next round—like the Golden State Warriors…and others can go full speed ahead with vacation plans—like the New York Knicks…many are sitting right on the fence—like the Miami Heat. Players in the latter category will find themselves having flashbacks of their co-ed days….back to a time when there was one class in particular that caused an onset of the blues—and it all came down to the final. Complete with memories of having taken the test only to have to sit in agony for a little while longer to see if you actually passed or failed the course—oh such misery. Since I’ve been distracted with this little thing called March Madness over the last few weeks I’m anxious to sit back and watch those bubble teams give it all they’ve got to make it to the land where a clean slate is given…the playoffs!!