Honestly, you couldn't have scripted a more fitting end to this season. Blow a 10-point halftime lead, on the road, against a team full of seniors who stayed more focused and motivated throughout the game than you did. Fall asleep on defense over and over again and let that kid keep getting free on the baseline for those alley-oop dunks.
I hate watching my team in the NIT, because you never feel good about rooting for it. ("We're Number 66!!") But now at least that's all resolved. From what I saw, it certainly looks as if Greg Monroe could use more seasoning, so hopefully he stays away from that NBA draft and comes back to try and make up for what happened this year.
We could go over it and over it, but we already have, for the past few months. And besides, this is the best day of the year -- whether the Hoyas decided to join it or not.
The NCAA Tournament begins in earnest this afternoon. I'm in Florida, doing some spring training coverage, but the heavy early odds favor me blowing off this Phillies-Marlins game and finding a sports bar with about 110 TVs and parking there for the afternoon. Or going back down to Delray Beach and crashing on my in-laws' couch to watch one game on the TV and others on the laptop.
Briefly, my Final Four is Michigan State, Duke, Connecticut and Oklahoma, with Michigan State beating Duke for the title. I never win these things, and my performance (as detailed below) in this year's Conference Tournament Pool speaks to the success I expect to have in the big bracket as well. So while I have no reason to think you'd be using my picks as any kind of advice anyway, I can confidently advise you to stay away, and use them only to poke fun at me after the fact.
My winners today:
LSU over Butler
Memphis over Cal State-Northridge
BYU over Texas A&M
Purdue over Northern Iowa
North Carolina over Radford, easily, even with Ty Lawson tied behind their backs.
Cal over Maryland
UConn over Chattanooga
Washington over Mississippi State
Minnesota over Texas (Sure, drinking the Big Ten Kool-Aid. Why fight it?)
Clemson over Michigan (Too much Kool-Aid is bad for you)
Villanova over American
Akron over Gonzaga (UPSET SPECIAL -- GO ZIPS!!!)
Duke over Binghamton
Oklahoma over Morgan State
UCLA over VCU (though I see the President picked the upset here...)
Illinois over Western Kentucky
Let's tip off!!!!
The Cardinal Countdown: 15 Days Until Kickoff
17 hours ago