Yesterday the bubble burst. It was a great run, but unfortunately the Tar Heels season ended late yesterday afternoon. It would have been great to have the season extended one more weekend; but it wasn't to be. I went to work this morning and promptly folded my bracket neatly and placed it in the recycling bin.
Some may wonder why a prairie boy from Manitoba might become such an ardent supporter of a school somewhere in the mid-atlantic states. There are a few reasons...the strategy, the college hoop-la, and if you ever get a chance to see a major US college campus...they are really something to see. I've been to Chapel Hill North Carolina and to Lawrence Kansas and both did not disappoint. Both schools, KU and UNC, lost yesterday afternoon. Wasn't a good day. Anyway....as we get closer ot October 15th, my web browser will make more frequent stops to my favourite basketball websites as "this" season slowly fades from memory.
Seasons like this past one are some of my favourites. The championships are nice, but I think I best remember the seasons that didn't quite end so well. Some of my favourite teams were marked by unproven freshmen that played beyond their years and were just fun to watch. They would win big or lose big, but either way they were fun to watch. Some of my favourites were the 99-00 Kansas, UNC 02-03, and UNC 05-06...these were some fun teams to watch. No championships in those years, but the best was yet to come. This seasons version of the Tar Heels had no seniors that played any significant minutes; starting two freshmen, two sophomores, and a junior who had never played a full season due to injury. This team can all return next season...who knows if that will happen...but its interesting to think about. This team was written off in early January after an ospicious start to the season in Puerto Rico, some mediocre games through December and an ugly loss to Georgia Tech in early January. Things were not looking great...then the point guard issue got resolved and it was "game on." (by the way...where is Larry Drew). It's fun to watch a team come together and get better with every game; and this team got exponentially better from mid January to the end of the regular season. The final regular season game against Dook was the best game they played all season...even considering how well the played in the last few weeks...that game...they beat up the Dookies and in the end isn't that what really matters...beating Dook.
Yes...i'm pouting today; did I not mention the reason for doing this blog is largely therapeutic. Sports is a nice diversion from the day to day, but unfortunately the season does have to end. So who will I cheer for next weekend? I think it is interesting that either VCU or Butler will play for the title. Would be nice to see Butler take it; after coming so close last year.
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