Let’s talk Final Four basketball…or more to the point…let me just give you my opinion since this, being my blog, I get to do that. 🙂
For the first time since team seeding began in 1979 (how we spent 40 years without seeds, I’ll never know), all four Final Four teams are #1 seeds. Does this mean the selection committee got it right for the first time in history? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, “NO!” In the past, more often than not, if a #1 seed doesn’t win the tournament, the team that does win (regardless of their seeding) probably didn’t ever deserve a #1 seed based on their overall season performance. In fact, this year, I’m pretty sure some people could have made an argument for Tennessee or Georgetown being #1 seeds. They would have been laughed out of the board room, but they could have made the argument.
In any case, here we are. There’s a first time for everything, and this year is one of those times. We get the pleasure of seeing free throw hatin’/street-ball playin’ Memphis duke it out with classically trained/basketball clinic UCLA. And then, we get to see monkey off their backs/out for revenge Kansas tackle defense-lacking/ice water veined offense UNC.(Side Note: Before I go on, let me just address this. Roy Williams is NOT playing his former team. Bill Self is not playing Roy Williams. None of the Kansas players are any of Roy’s recruits. This is Bill’s team. And any Kansas fan who still begrudges Roy Williams for returning to his ALMA MATER needs to take a step back and perhaps consider a little humility. Roy turned down UNC and Dean Smith once to stay at Kansas. He gave all he had to Kansas for 15 years. But, if you honestly think there is any person in this world who was coached or employed by Dean Smith who can turn him down twice, then you have no idea the amount of respect those people have for Dean Smith. So, Roy returned to North Carolina, and aside from coaching it gave him the opportunity to spend time with his dying father and sister. That cannot be replaced. So…do me a favor, GET OVER IT and pull for your Kansas Jayhawks because they’re your team and you love them NO MATTER WHO THE HEAD COACH IS!)
I gotta say, I have no earthly idea who is going to win out, but what I do know is that getting to the Final Four in my opinion ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. All my life, I’ve heard about how great it is to make it to a Final Four. Having never been an athlete, I can’t really argue with an actual participant’s experience, but what I want to ask every athlete who has ever made it to the Final Four is why is it so dadgum special when you haven’t won a darn thing? Let’s ask Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter if they would have taken the National Championship over losing in the Final Four. Or let’s ask the UCLA players from the previous two years how they feel about the Final Four versus the National Championship. I just don’t get why it’s so special to get there.
Try this little bit of trivia: Without looking it up, how many Final Four teams can you name from the last 5 years? George Mason, Florida, and UCLA don’t count because, well, duh!. Can’t come up with many, can you? Me, either. I can name the Final Four from 2005 but only because I have it on a t-shirt.
So here we are…4 teams, 3 games, 1 champion. Who’s going home with the hardware and the prestige?