Monday, April 6, 2015

The Final No One Saw Coming

The Madness has almost come to an end as the NCAA Tournament Championship has reached its final game. Of the plethora of questions that arose starting on selection Sunday, including the tournament field of 68 itself, only one remains, and that is who will be the National Champion. The others, like can Kentucky finish the season unbeaten and are they the best ever? No and No. Because of the parity in this year’s field will there be a sleeper that makes the Final Four? Yes, Michigan State. Will Villanova break their curse and get out of the round of 32? Nope. Suddenly one of the most coveted coaches may be on the hot-seat next season. Is this the best field of two-seeds ever? Well despite the big names, neither Arizona, Kansas, Virginia, or Gonzaga could get out of the elite 8, and the list goes on. Now we just have to see if Wisconsin can get it’s first title in over 75 years? Can Coach K take one more step to becoming the greatest college coach of all time? Here is what will need to happen for either of those questions to be answered with a yes. Wisconsin needs to get over themselves. In other words, imagine if the USA had lost to Finland in the Gold Medal 1980 Olympics, there never would have been a “miracle on ice”, the incredible win over the Russians would have been nothing more than a footnote. Not that this is on the national scale like that was but if you reside in the state of Wisconsin it’s pretty close. However they need to recognize that there’s still more work to do and one very tough game left that may in many ways be more difficult, if that’s possible. Change the history of the school or become another footnote. Duke needs to Finish. They got off to a slow start after Coach K got back from coaching the World Championships. They weren’t very good defensively, and didn’t fully utilize their talent, and had a 3-3 stretch in January that dropped them out of the top 15 and had even fans wondering how far they could go. Then they won 17 out of 18, managed to avoid Notre Dame the school that hung two of their four losses on them, and now find themselves in the NCG, again. People were beginning to question the caliber of the Devils after losses to Mercer (1st round), Louisville, Lehigh, and Arizona (by 16) over the last four years. Well this is their chance to put it on display as for the first time since they lost to Arkansas in 1994, they are underdogs going into the Final. Our pick? We’re done pickin’. This could be one of the best finals in the history of the tournament, a great contrast in styles, with a good potential for free basketball at the end. Only time will tell what kind of pros the Okafors and Tanks of this game become but we’re looking to see a great conclusion to a month of madness that makes it the greatest event in sports bar none.

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