March 26, 2006

"Mission Storybook Ending: Failed"

Without a doubt, the NCAA tournament gods forgot to use any of the multiple storybook endings for this year's tournament:

(1) Duke:

Arguably the best one-two punch in Duke history fail to win the title in their senior year. I can't imagine a team in the past having already beaten 10 of the teams in that year's NCAA tourney and still fail to make the Elite Eight. (Duke beat Memphis (#1), Texas (#2), UNC (#3), Boston College...twice (#4), NC State (#10), Bucknell (#9), Pennsylvania (#15), Indiana (#6), and Seton Hall (#10))

(2) Texas:

The trifecta is stopped short by 3 games. FYI, Texas won the last baseball and football championships. Had this happened, it would have been one of the most remarkable sports achievements ever considering the factors.

(3) UCONN

Even though I personally hate them, UCONN had a star-studded roster this year. They were definitely the feel-good championship pick going into the tourney. Had they won this year, it would have been the third championship in the last 8 years ('99, '04). Also, this may be one of those teams comparable to the early '90's Michigan team: "Future NBA powerhouse with no NCAA banner." Realistically, next year could be a rebuilding year for UCONN if their guys go pro. (Hey, why stay in college when you can enroll in the NBA's 3-year 'on-bench' training program making 2.5 million a year?!!?)

I guess having George Mason in the Final Four is pretty storybook, but not the one I had envisioned. At least UCONN and UNC are at home as well. Misery loves company!