Monday, March 30, 2015

Random thoughts from the aftermath

After wimping out and only watching the first half of the Oklahoma game, I'm happy to report that I watched the ENTIRE Louisville game, start to nerve-wracking, heart-pounding finish. I was so nervous during the final few minutes of regulation and overtime that my hands were shaking.

It's funny that no matter how many of these games I've watched over the span of my sports fandom, it never gets any easier. I am always a nervous wreck when these big games are closely contested and go right down to the wire.

Michigan State is now one win away from tying Indiana for the most tournament wins of any Big Ten program. I can't think of a more satisfying victim than Duke for that 64th win.

Just out of curiosity, I took a look at the four rosters of Michigan State, Wisconsin, Duke, and Kentucky to see where their players are from. Seven of MSU's 16 players are from Michigan, and seven of Wisconsin's 16 players are from Wisconsin. MSU has only two players from outside of the Midwest, Lourawls Nairn (Bahamas--but played prep basketball in Kansas) and Colby Wollenman (Wyoming).

Based on a quick Wikipedia search, I've determined that give or take a few vacated John Calipari wins, the combined career won-lost record of the four Final Four coaches is 2842-909. That has to be the most combined victories of Final Four coaches in any individual year.

I don't want to get overly political in this blog, but I'm disturbed by Indiana's "religious freedom" law, which I see as merely an excuse for legalized discriminatory policies against the LGBTQ community. Imagine if Duke University, the University of Kentucky, Michigan State University, and the University of Wisconsin all boycotted the Final Four in Indianapolis? Of course, it won't happen, but if it did it'd make a huge statement and quite possibly bring the state of Indiana to its knees. It's a nice fantasy.

I was surprised to see that Loyola, a team that Michigan State beat handily on November 21 (a game that I actually attended) is playing against Louisiana-Monroe for the CBI championship. Good for them. Go Ramblers!

This will be the third Final Four in the last seven years that I won't be at home. Final Four weekend always takes place during my kids' spring break, so this year I'll be in Toronto on Final Four weekend. In 2009, I was in Chicago and in 2012 it was--of all places--Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The funny thing was, when we made these vacation plans, I said, "Ah, no problem, it'll be fine. MSU doesn't stand much of a chance to be in the Final Four, so no big deal if we're in Toronto." Maybe I should say that ever year.

If I think of any more random nonsense, I'll add it later.

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