The Madness of March is over and Virginia has won its first ever NCAA basketball championship in the program’s history! The Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 85-77 in overtime in a thriller Monday night.
The entire college basketball world expected a low-scoring hardwood defensive grinder. What we got was great offense and defense the way the game was meant to be played. The two teams played their collective guts out and put on a heck of a championship game. The beauty of why sports is such a fascinating and humbling story is one of the reasons why I watch sports.
The Virginia basketball team last year lost as a one-seed to a 16-seed for the first time ever. It is by far the most stunning upset in the history of the tournament, bar none. The kids from Virginia were humbled and embarrassed by the loss and were laughed at by many. This devastating loss could have defined the Virginia program and the players forever. However, the program used it as motivation and its players responded. Here we are one year later after the debacle of losing to a 16-seed and we are crowning the Virginia Cavaliers NCAA basketball National Champs.
The word redemption fits this story best. I will say, though, that it wasn’t easy, as Virginia was beat by Purdue and yet found a miracle win. The Final Four game against Auburn was a loss, yet they found three miracle free throws to win. Virginia followed the saying “I would rather be lucky than good”, which is true for them. However, Virginia was tremendous and a talented team whose only two losses were to the Duke Blue Devils all season long.
I will miss my college hoops and the Madness of March! It was a fabulous tournament and my wife is glad it’s over!
Going for the green jacket
The Masters is this weekend, one of my favorite weekends of the year, in fact. The golfers are all chasing the coveted green jacket and a major title win. The azaleas are in full bloom, the golf course is in its usual pristine condition, and the sound of Jim Nantz announcing is all ready to go.
The Tiger Woods-watch will be in full effect, as many will be pulling for him to win another major. I would love to see Tiger at least make the cut this weekend. What golfer breaks through this weekend, remains to be seen. Is it D J, Rory, Kuchar, Rose, Bubba, Lefty Phil, or some shocker putting on the green jacket? My choice this weekend? I’ll give you two selections. I like Paul Casey, who has finished in the top-ten three of the last four years. The other player I like is Justin Rose, who has played good golf so far this season. Let’s play some golf at the Masters and enjoy the watch on Sunday!
Playing not to lose
The Detroit Pistons are doing their best to not make the NBA Playoffs. The “Stons” have two games left on their schedule and currently sit in the final spot as an eight-seed. The injury to Blake Griffin has the Pistons limping to the finish line. Blake’s sore knee is the reason for the four-game losing skid. I think the Pistons will find a way to make the playoffs, which would be nice for the fans, and the franchise.
Ice wars also heating up
The NHL hockey playoffs ramped up yesterday and is there anything better than the first round? I say, no! The sweetest thing about the NHL first round is the eight-seed can take down the one-seed. It has happened on more than one occasion, too.
The Tampa Bay hockey team is no doubt the best team on paper. This team won 62 hockey games and the President’s Trophy. I like Tampa Bay to win the Stanley Cup, as I think they are loaded offensively and have great goaltending. I will give you my other seven series predictions. I like an upset in the New York Islanders over Pittsburgh, the Dallas Stars over Nashville, the St. Louis Blues over Winnipeg, the Vegas Knights over San Jose, the Boston Bruins over Toronto, the Capitals over Carolina and Calgary over Colorado.
Kitties sitting pretty
The first place Tigers?! How about that! The pitching of Shane Greene and the rest of the staff have been lights out. The hitting is coming around, but I have to admit I don’t see this team losing 100 games. I like what I am seeing on the diamond from the Tigers so far. firstname.lastname@example.org