March Madness: April Wrap-up edition
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 9:20am
It's over! Finally! Kentucky emerges victorious. It took all of March, and a little extra, to come out of this intriguing season with a clear-cut national champion. John Calipari and his Wildcats defeated the Kansas Jayhawks in a battle between the two winning-est programs in NCAA Mens Basketball history. On Monday (yes, the NCAA is so stubborn that they are silly enough to keep their football and basketball championships on a Monday), Kentucky kept Kansas at arms length almost the entire game. Kansas got back within five points in the closing minutes, but several miscue's derailed any of Kansas's chances to lessen the difference.
Fan-wise Kentucky found itself in a Duke position. Most of America turned against the blue and white team because:
1. Kentucky is and always has been a successful program.
2. Kentucky has a reputation for a racist past.
3. It is seen as a "NBA factory," a school where a player will play for the mandatory two years before jumping ship to get paid in the NBA.
4. People don't like John Calipari. They don't like his personality, his talent, and his reputation for vaguely following recruiting rules.
In Illinois country, the choice of who to root for was hard. Many people sided with the Wildcats due to resentment towards Kansas Coach Bill Self. Self is infamous for leaving Illinois, a school he was molding into a national super power with recruits like Dee Brown and Deron Williams, to get a more lucrative and prestigious position a traditional powerhouse, Kansas. Bruce Weber's inability to sustain the level of competitiveness achieved by Self after 2005 has made fans especially bitter.
Can you blame the guy? If you have a chance to earn more money and be in a larger spotlight, wouldn't you take it? You could call it selfishness. Just remember though, Bill Self can't help that everything he does is Self-ish.
This year's championship game wasn't as intense or dramatic as championship games have been in the past. This holds true for the women's championship game too; in my opinion is was even less dramatic. Baylor, led by 6-foot-8 Britney Griner, crushed Notre Dame by a score of 81-60. In doing so, Baylor became the first mens or womens team to ever finish a season 40-0.
After watching that game I felt very sorry for the Fighting Irish. What can you do when your tallest player is like 4" shorter than the other team's star? Seemingly, all Baylor did in that game was throw the ball at the backboard, let Griner catch it, and make an uncontested lay-up. Baylor's remarkable season may be in jeopardy after all is said and done. An investigation in to both the mens and womens programs at the Christian private Texas school over recruiting violations seeks to tarnish the Bears' season.
And for Illini Fans, better luck next year!
Now the season is over and its time for baseball!!!!!! Yay!!!!