And.....March is over.
I apologize for not posting last night. After my time series final, it was uptown with the other Econ peeps for the rest of the day, relaxing and catching our collective breaths after a very busy last few weeks. Today, I did no work, instead heading to the golf course. Hueston Woods played extra tough with sustained winds of 10-15 mph with gusts up to 25. But I played pretty well, shooting 89, even making a birdie on the 183 yard, par 3 16th, which is all carry over water.
Another Survivor, another Kuror win in the immunity challenge, which sent Ibraheim home, leaving Oolong with 2. In the Apprentice, Stephanie's decision to leave her team and go to Brooklyn to deliver pizza got her fired as Magna won for the 4th straight time. Chris seems to be next on the chopping block with his fiery temper and lack of experience. After that, there's no clear-cut favorite, unlike the previous couple of shows.
Well, March comes to an end in less than an hour, meaning March Madness is almost done, so let's look at the Top 10 March Madness moments from this past year:
10. Fairleigh Dickinson. I'm going to put a personal one on here. I can't describe the buzz that was in the RCA Dome during the 1st half of FDU/Illinois. In front of 27,000+ predominant orange-clad fans, the worst team in the Tourney, in my opinion, played Illinois shot for shot in the 1st half, hitting a deep 3 that even got a yell from Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas to only trail by 1 at the half. Illinois played well enough in the 2nd half to earn a 12 point win, but for 20 minutes, I was watching Cinderella.
9. West Virginia. I have never seen a team go from being off the bubble in February to on it in March, going to their conference championship, then going on to the Elite 8, losing in overtime. Not since Indiana in 2002 has a team shot the ball that well from the outside, almost carrying them to St. Louis.
8. Vermont. The Catamounts didn't have that big-time win which would put the finishing touches on their arrival in big-time college hoops until they knocked off Syracuse, many a Final 4 sleeper pick, in the 1st round. It also gave coach Tom Brennan and his seniors the sendoff they deserved.
7. Championship Week, Saturday night. In what seems like a long time ago, as many as 4 teams saw their NCAA hopes die in a rash of upsets in conference championships. Victories by George Washington, Ohio U., New Mexico, and Utah St. most likely eliminated St. Joe's, Miami, Maryland, and Notre Dame from the NCAA tournament.
6. Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were picked to finish 7th in the Big 12 at the beginning of the year. But Bob Knight did it again, maximizing what his players could give him and then some to lead them to the Big 12 finals, then the Sweet 16, which included an upset win over Gonzaga. I consider Bob Knight the greatest college basketball coach ever because he hasn't had as much to work with like a Dean Smith or Mike Kryzewski, but he's been just as successful in terms of 20-win seasons and NCAA tourney appearances. If he were only as good a person as he were a coach.
5. 40,331. The attendance for the 2nd round games in Indianapolis at the RCA Dome (of which I was there). The marquee matchup was Kentucky-Cincinnati, their first meeting in 15 years. This just represents how big the NCAA Tournament is.
4. Bucknell. Going into Friday night's 1st round games, I told my dad, "You know, we haven't had the absolute shocker yet that no one expected." In the final session of 1st round games, Bucknell delivered that shocker. A Patriot League team had never won an NCAA tourney game until Bucknell knocked off Kansas, who were in many people's Final 8.
3. UW-Milwaukee. Usually, the popular upset pick doesn't pan out. That wasn't the case this year as the Panthers made it to the Sweet 16, even giving Illinois a competitive fight.
2. Oakland University. Props to the Golden Grizzlies, who came into the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament with a 9-18 record. Thanks to the beauty of March, they won their tourney on a 3 with 2 sec. left, sending them to the Dance. Then, they added to their story by winning the play-in game.
1. Regional Final weekend. An obvious #1 choice, with 3 of the 4 games going to at least one overtime period, with the 4th not being decided until the last minute. If this weekend is half as good as last weekend, we're in for a real treat.
In other sports, Andre Agassi will get another shot at Roger Federer tomorrow night in the Nasdaq 100 semifinals, probably tennis's 5th major. Lance Armstrong is being accused of using anabolic steroids by his former bike mechanic, who filed suit in an Austin court today. Let's just say I'd be crushed if these allegations were found to be true.
Now, what should I do for April Fool's Day?????