The greatest 3 weeks in all of sports took it up another notch last night when the Kentucky Wildcats ripped the hearts out of the Notre Dame faithful and finally prevailed, 68-66. We affectionately call this March Madness and what a day it was for college basketball last night. The evening tipped off with Wisconsin vs. Arizona in an Elite 8 re-match from last year in which Wisconsin won 64-63 in OT. Once again, Wisconsin took down the Wildcats 85-78. Dekker and Kaminsky were just too much for Coach Miller and the ‘Cats setting up their re-match in nest week’s Final Four with another bunch of Wildcats.
But what a night it was for college basketball! Kentucky, on the verge of hoops immortality, needed every ounce of energy they could muster to pull out this one. ND, undersized, out manned, challenged UK from the opening tip. They never waivered or backed down from Coach Brey’s game plan. Attack, shoot the 3, follow missed shots, and pressure the perimeter. After beating Duke and North Carolina to win the ACC Championship, this was a confident group from South Bend and they were not going to back down from anyone. With ‘Bron in the stands, DAVID went toe to toe with GOLIATH. Pat Connaughton, a 6’5″ wing player played like Larry Bird. Point Guard Jerian Grant looked like Magic Johnson out there. And forward Zach Auguste was the reincarnation of Patrick Ewing. How the hell does a 6’5″ wingman get 7 rebounds in the first half versus all of those trees? Guts, heart, and determination! That’s what the Irish played with all night but in the end, what woulda, coulda, shoulda happened, ended with an…6 ticks remaining on the clock…one last shot…were we in for another Duke-Kentucky finish?…5 ticks…Was this going to be another fairy book story like Duke over UNLV?…4 ticks, Villanova over Georgetown?…3 ticks, ND ending UCLA’s 88 game winning streak in ’74?…2 ticks, after 20 lead changes and 12 ties, 1 tick…AIR BALL!!! The 37-0 Wildcats improved to 38-0. They are seeking to become the first undefeated champion in 39 years. Not since Bobby Knights 1976 Indiana Hoosiers have we had an undefeated champion and Big Blue is now just 2 wins away from immortality.