I was bored out of my mind watching last year’s NCAA Tournament. Not a single Cinderella, too many blowouts, few upsets, not enough Gus Johnson screaming, and North Carolina trucked everybody to easily win the title. This year has been the exact opposite. Northern Iowa, Washington, Cornell, and St. Mary’s were all #9 seeds or lower who advanced to the Sweet 16, and two of those teams have a chance to go even further tonight. The blowouts have been reduced and replaced with insane buzzer-beating finishes and overtime classics. Upsets have been aplenty as evidenced by 25% of the Sweet 16 representatives. Many powerhouses like North Carolina, UConn, and UCLA didn’t even make the big dance. Several of the powerhouses in the tournament were upset victims (Kansas, Syracuse, and Georgetown to name a few)……and Gus Johnson just about screamed his head off with the rest of us as Kansas State beat Xavier 101-96 last night in a double OT classic.
I think for his own safety this game needed to end in double OT or else his heart would’ve stopped working by the 3rd one. We missed you Gus, this game released the excitable wailing that we’ve come to know and love. His performance in my eyes was extra special because I spent 2 solid hours watching the Huskies piss their pants and Dick Enberg having a “Quinton Pondexter” on the court.
As far as the game goes I have to say that’s the game of the tournament. Xavier got off to a horrid start and fought back and hung tough with KSU after their 19-4 deficit. Jordan Crawford was sensational and Terell Holloway also made several clutch shots. Unfortunately for them, Jacob Pullen made more for Kansas State.
We only get one more game with Gus and it’s Butler vs. Kansas State. It should be a fantastic match as Butler could be playing a home game if they go to the Final Four in Indy, and Kansas State could make Kansas fans feel even more bitter.
What will we get tonight? Hopefully victories from Northern Iowa, Tennessee, St. Mary’s, and Purdue.