The college basketball season winds down to a
precious few games, namely the three that will comprise the Final Four. This
weekend will certainly have to go some distance to match the sheer excitement
that was generated by last weekend’s Elite Eight. In one of the more
remarkable examples of why so many people follow the NCAA Tournament and why CBS
lays out big bucks to occasionally break up the sales pitches with a little
basketball, we were treated to three of the best regional finals since the NCAA
decided that Mr. Naismith’s game might amount to something.
|Sean May and the UNC Tar
Heels will be the ACC’s only Final Four representative.
Saturday gave us the excitement of not one blown lead, but
two. After a gritty bunch of sharpshooters from West Virginia finally succumbed
to superior Louisville firepower, Arizona went them one better by managing to
blow a fifteen-point lead in the final four minutes. I’m sure Lute Olsen made
at least the suggestion to Salim Stoudamire that he might consider running a
little time off the clock before jacking up a wild shot and can only assume that
Salim chose not to listen. Then came Sunday. Our conference gained Final Four
representation yet again as North Carolina held Wisconsin at arm’s length,
producing a veritable rout by this year’s regional finals standards. Then came
the weekend’s topper, the incredible Michigan State win over Kentucky, which
managed to produce some of the greatest theatre since Shakespeare either did or
did not write all of those masterpieces.
The ACC did indeed produce another Final Four team,
although not the two that made it last year. It was Carolina’s turn to
represent both the conference and Tobacco Road this year, as ‘Ol Roy continued
his first-rate turnaround at Dean’s place with mostly the same cast of
characters that flat-out refused to play another second for the fired Coach D’oh,
otherwise known as Matt ‘Will Coach For Food’ Doherty. Matt was reduced to
watching his players cutting down Syracuse nets while sitting in a studio at
something called CSTV, whatever that is. His constant
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