I know you don’t have a dog in tonight’s fight. I don’t and I can confidently say you don’t because it’s Kentucky vs. UConn. The former is college basketball’s lightning rod of criticism. The wrong Wildcats to be in this game if you’re asking me. The dribbling and shooting version of Alabama’s football juggernaut built to win by any means possible in the biggest possible ways. Big Blue Nation, as it were, is the necessary evil to make Cinderella’s story that much sweeter. You probably don’t like Kentucky.
And there’s also Connecticut a year removed from a post-season ban. The Huskies are proving every rule we’ve ever thought about this tournament: hot at the right time, senior guards, Deandre Daniels. Do you realize that Daniels is scoring 3 more points per game since the games turned to tournament games (AAC and NCAA)? When Shabazz is going to Shabazz, there isn’t a lot you can do. But when a 6’9″ guy is going to shoot 42% from distance and also grab 7.4 boards per NCAA game, a run into the title game isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. The Huskies are pistol hot. You probably don’t like Connecticut.
But as we’ve already established, neither one of these guys is your team. The squad we read recruiting rumors and group text about. They’re not ours.
So maybe it is a bittersweet championship. But that’s what happens when everything got put on the line three weeks ago and the ball was tipped and we said “let’s do this shit.” We knew it was going to hurt a little if things didn’t go our way. At this point, I’ve read my share of “despondent locker room” articles and “why next year is still reason for optimism.” I’m hoping to have enough perspective to sit and watch, even enjoy, tonight’s ball game.
But even if you can’t get your mind around that, it’s Luther Vandross Appreciation Day, and may your moment shine.