Before anything, I wanna say hello to everybody. It was great to have a two weeks break but I gotta be honest and admit that I missed writing here in my beloved blog.
Anyway, I couldn’t make any predictions or analysis about this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament due to the dates of my break, but I obviously followed closely and thoroughly enjoyed the Final Four games.
Duke are the undisputed National Champions but let’s face it: the greatest story of the weekend was Wisconsin.
Not only because of all the schools in the Final Four they are the ones who hadn’t won for a longer period (since 1941), but because they were huge underdogs on their first game against the unbeaten and big Kentucky.
When Duke cruised past Michigan State in the first semifinal (in a game most people thought it would be hard fought), many thought that we were in for two blow-outs. Huge mistake. Not only the Badgers didn’t fear the Wildcats, they knew in their heats they could win the game. And they showed it in court. Frank Kaminski and Sam Decker were on fire and coupled with a brilliant coaching from Bo Ryan, they pulled off the upset. It was a wonderful basketball game.
Even with Duke aiming for their fifth national title and having a magnificent coach in Coach K (more about that later), nobody dared to point them out as immense favorites in the final. The Badgers had gained a lot of momentum beating a team that seemed unbeatable and were indeed playing well.
And what we saw last night was a basketball game for the ages, one of the best National Championship games ever and the best since that Duke/Butler game in 2010.
Everybody was waiting for the Kaminski/Okafor battle but Wisconsin managed to put Okafor in foul trouble early on and he had to leave the game. Kaminski was able to drive to the basket and with 9 minutes left in the game the Badgers had a 9 point lead.
And that’s when Coach K’s star shone brightly. He trusted two of his four freshmen and gave them confidence to take no prisoners in the game. And that’s what Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen did. Drawing fouls, scoring and getting “and ones” Duke was able to cut the lead. At the defensive end Amile Jefferson managed to guard Kaminski (in the best possible way Kaminski can be guarded) and Duke was also lucky (as all champions are) that Sam Decker had an off night shooting from long distance.
All these variables added, Duke was able to beat Wisconsin and take the trophy to Durham.
One last thing before I finished: yesterday at the post-game Sportscenter the legendary Dick Vitale said that in his opinion Mike Krzyzewski was the best college coach ever, surpassing even John Wooden. I tend to agree not only because of his National titles but also his achievements with the US basketball team. He is a two time Olympic and World Champion. It seems an easy feat, but a lot of coaches struggled to motivate NBA players when playing those tournaments. Not Coach K. He managed to motivate everybody and the United States won easily because of that.
All in all, it was a great game and one of the best Final Four ever!
Napalm Death – Apex Predator –EasyMeat
Chrissie Hynde – Stockholm
Septicflesh – Titan
Flying Colors – Second Nature
Europe – War of Kings
Dream Theater – Breaking the Fourth Wall: Live At Boston College
Heart & Friends – Home For the Holidays
Alice Cooper – Live From Wacken
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