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Random thoughts on the NCAA tourney

OK, it’s been about a week since the end of March Madness, but hey… I’m a UNC fan.  It’s perfectly acceptable to try to forget the Final Four happened.  Last week at this time, I was watching the end of the miserable UNC-Kansas game and wondering how things could have gone so incredibly wrong.

So, here are my thoughts – in no particular order – on the tournament.

  • A few fellow UNC grads bought into Billy Packer’s assertion that the Tar Heels came out flat.  That might be true, but that discredits just how well Kansas played in the first quarter of the game. I’ve seen a half-dozen of their games this year, and I’ve never seen their big guys play so well. It was crazy.
  • UNC’s comeback, while incomplete, was at least a decent sign for this team.  Regardless of who comes back – will Hansbrough and Lawson return? – they needed to demonstrate to themselves that they were capable of winning that game.  A few missed shots at the end of the second half were all that stood in the way of a much closer contest.  Not saying we would have won it, but it would have been a little more interesting.
  • My favorite call during the game (and there were a few anguished calls, some of which I made) came from a fan favorite of this blog, Nipsey, who during the first half compared the game to the movie The Perfect Storm.  He reasoned that the Kansas team was like a hurricane, and UNC was a boat, trying to wait out the storm.  When reminded that George Clooney and the boys died in that movie, there was just silence on the line.
  • The Perfect Storm analogy was pretty much accurate.  The UNC comeback was the eye of the hurricane.  The final few minutes when we played like a drunken group of frat guys was the 100-foot wave that killed the entire crew.
  • The final between Kansas and Memphis was breathtaking.  The fact that Memphis couldn’t make a free throw to cement the victory is just too great.  Calipari’s insistence that they would make freebies when it counted was too much.  If you’re that bad at something, it will show up.  Sometimes at the worst times.
  • Of course, given the week that I had, I saw somebody from Memphis (can’t remember who) bank in a 3-pointer with three minutes to go and said, “This game is over, I’m tired and I gotta get some sleep.”  Bear in mind, I was in Princeton, NJ for a work thing, the flight was late getting there, I had to be at an event at 7:30 a.m., and did I mention… I was in NJ!
  • I caught the last part of the final game tonight on ESPN Classic.  That was a definite classic.

I’m tired again.  I’ll be back with more later.

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