The game of basketball hasn’t been this crazy since Ron Artest went all Bruce Lee on Detroit Pistons’ fans last season. And that was the NBA.
Now, seeing how it’s still March, the only thing we have on our minds, aside from where to go for Happy Hour, is the NCAA Tournament.
This year’s dance has seen it all, from tearing down the nets to tearing at mid-court. There have been buzzer-beaters, overtimes and full collapses. We had a couple Cinderella’s escape the first weekend and squeeze their way into the Sweet 16. Now we have Cinderella, her stepsisters, the fairy godmother and a slipper that more than fits make a miraculous run to the Final Four. (Cinderella and her entourage is George Mason, if you didn’t know).
To think that we would have a Final Four of UCLA, LSU, Florida and George Mason is beyond outrageous. If we could predict the future (which, by the way, we’re heavily researching because we think looking into the future would be pretty sweet) and we literally saw that the Baby Bears, Bayou Bengals, Swamp Things and Old White Dudes were going to be playing in the Final Four in Indianapolis, we still wouldn’t believe it.
This damn tournament is so unpredictable, that in ESPN’s tournament challenge, of over three million entered brackets, four (as in 1, 2, 3, four) had the correct teams in the Final Four. How even four brackets saw the combination of these teams playing this deep into the tournament is beyond us.
March Madness didn’t just get crazy this past weekend. The first round saw blown leads and clutch shots. The second round saw big upsets and more clutch shots. Then the Sweet 16 saw top-teams escape, perhaps the best performance of a #5 seed (our Huskies!) since Indiana was the national runner-up as a number five in 2002, and grown men cry. Yes. Cry. Like little fucking kids.
We’ve thought a lot about the whole crying game that took place in the Round of Sixteen. We came to a consensus that it’s ok to cry, but not during the game. The Big Picture nemesis, Adam Morrison, broke down in tears against UCLA after he had a sudden realization that he was the most ugly man to ever do anything related to living. We’re all about his epiphany, but Adam, do it after the game. Morrison basically conceded defeat prematurely…and we’ll take a guess that that’s not the only thing that Adam Mor-ugly-than-you does prematurely.
You must be thinking that we’ve gotten sidetracked. You’re absolutely right. Back to the column.
So crying is fine by us. Bawl, weep and sob all you want. We like seeing emotion in sports and that’s what really makes college sports different from pro sports. These kids are perhaps playing their last games of organized basketball (well, not Morrison) and it’s understandable to be upset when your career is done or when you fucking blow it like Gonzaga did against (F)UC LA.
But, as we already said, it must be done after the game. Oh, and if Morrison and J.J. Redick (Duke’s star who also found it appropriate to leave his emotions on the court after Duke was upset by LSU) plan to play in the pros, they may have to get used to losing because they’ll likely be chosen in the top-ten where lowly teams like, ugh, the Sonics will be picking.
Yeah, so just a wild, wild tournament. If a tournament, as a whole, could be loaded, well, this one was…and probably took keg stands from a keg filled with Three Star Vodka. Hey, it’s been fun. We’d say it’s been a lot of fun, but having Rashad Anderson rip your heart out isn’t exactly our idea of a good time.
This is the beauty of March: meaningful basketball, gripping story lines, and this year especially, the entire cast and crew from Cinderella.
Since we won’t be with you until next Wednesday, after the tourney will be all said and done, we’ll give you our picks now.
UCLA over LSU. Florida over George Mason. UCLA wins it all, and because the Dawgs beat UCLA twice, UW shares the National Championship in spirit.
If we’re right with our picks, we expect you all to be helping us take down our keg of Three Star.
This column was published in the University of Washington's The Daily.
In other tournament news: The UConn Lady Huskies beat Georgia 77-75 after Rashad Anderson hit a game-winning three pointer as time expired.