The NCAA Tournament has Stuck to Script but the Best is Yet to Come
Two days later, I finally have regrouped after finishing my Sunday watching one of the oddest, but fun NCAA Tournament Games I've seen in a long time.
It was a game that was so much fun, it got my wife, who's barely interested in basketball, excited.
Strangely, Duke vs. UCF, a game that on reputation and...well, paper looked like a complete mismatch, ended up being the banner game of March Madness---so far.
And I say that only because it got the eventual winner--Duke, a berth in the Sweet Sixteen.
It was an overtime game that finally was won after The Knights missed not one, but two close range shots as the clock ran down in the overtime period.
Yes, it was that close....
I'll spare you the rundown/buildup to that point by only mentioning Duke's star Freshman Zion Williamson proved beyond a shadow of a doubt--he's the best player in College Basketball.
The game also produced one of the most moving post-game speeches I've ever heard by UCF Coach Johnny Dawkins.....
The tournament itself has been somewhat bereft of surprises. There are no real "Cinderella" teams left in the Final 16. Yeah, sure, Oregon is seeded 12th, but the Ducks also won the Pac 12 Tournament leading into March Madness and have been on a roll for the latter half of the season.
And for what it is worth---Oregon squares off with one of the Top Seeds in the Tourney, Virginia for their next game.
There are a few teams who might surprise you only because most of us don't consider them "Basketball" schools. Auburn, Florida State, Houston, Tennessee and Virginia Tech haven't been in this position for a long time.
It's been a season where a handful of teams have been very, very good and then a pretty big drop-off. All the teams still in at this point--have been very, very good.
There may not be that "Heart-Tugging" story, the little team that could storyline here that will capture the attention of the casual fan, but there are some really, really good teams left playing for the title.
Trying to pick a winner out of this bunch is a challenge. Yeah, sure, Duke looks in theory like the cream of the crop---but they've been beaten. Gonzaga has been #1 for a good chunk of the past two months.
I don't really know who I'd pick to win at this point---most of the matchups, even at the Sweet 16 level are "Toss-Ups".
It makes for the hardcore fan some good games. It will likely make for 8 very closely played, hard fought battles with little chance of a blowout. It also will make for some potential buzzer beating moments, some down to the wire heroics and crazy fun games.
And even if you aren't totally "Into" College Basketball, it makes for some super fun times and hopefully some memorable moments all of us can appreciate..