Let’s Dance ………………..
Well now that we know the ‘Final Four’ to perhaps one of the most exciting Men’s NCAA basketball tournament in recent years. It’s time to survey the devastation that took place. We’re now left with the four best teams in the tournament and no it’s not aberration that the lightly regarded Butler is one of the quartet of teams remaining.
Butler along with Duke (Blue Devils) , Michigan State (Spartans) and West Virginia (Mountaineers) round out the Final Four . And is there a clear cut favorite amongst the four ? Who can say but there’s no denying that a number of people if not a large part of the nation are perhaps rooting for the underdogs , in Butler. And the fact that the Final Four and championship game will be played in their home state of Indiana at the Lucas Oil Stadium , makes this even more of a fairy tale for the team and their coach Brad Stevens . This will Stevens’ first appearance in the Final Four as a coach. He joins Mike Krzyzewski , Bob Huggins and Tom Izzo as the coaches of the respective teams remaining in the tournament. And of those four, Huggins and Stevens are the only coaches not to have cut down the nets as a winning coach of the national championship in men’s basketball.
Now don’t get me wrong I’ve been avowed Blue Devils’ fan for eons and I do believe that Mike Krzyzewski one of the all-time great coaches in collegiate athletics. Love him or hate him , you’ve got the admire what he’s done in building this program into a perennial powerhouse within college basketball. His record as a coach speaks for itself and the respect that he has amongst his peers throughout collegiate athletics let’s you know how much he’s revered. That asides , were the Blue Devils not to end up as champions , I wouldn’t at all be overly disappointed. For me, the NCAA tournament has always been about seeing the minnows in the game take on the might within college basketball. There’s nothing like seeing a ‘David slay Goliath’ and turn the whole men’s college basketball world upside down. And that’s been what we’ve seen throughout this year’s tournament right from the very start. Needless to say , many of the prognosticators’ brackets have been shot to hell. Hey, President Obama , how’s that pick of Kansas of yours now looking ? If it’s anything like the passage of the healthcare reform bill , that thing also will soon be in tatters. Do you honestly believe that the Republicans will let it remain in its present format whatever it now allegedly is purported to be ? Even your most ardent supporters are unsure as to what form it will take . In many it ways it’s the same way , that this tournament itself has unfurled. Surprise after surprise, with a great deal of animosity up and down the country.
Sunday’s games and the results that came about were as surprising as the games themselves were enthralling. And the same could be said of Saturday’s results also. Who could’ve foreseen Duke’s 78-71 defeat of Baylor ? Or even Michigan State eking out a one point, 70-69 of Bruce Pearl’s Tennessee Volunteers ?
Now with the Final Four match-ups all set , it will be very interesting to see how these games are approached by the respective coaches and their teams. For Butler and their inexperienced coach Brad Stevens , they’ve nothing to lose as they face off against Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans. While Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils will take on Bob Huggins’ West Virginia Mountaineers. And it’s take a serious gambler to against the rising wave of support of the Butler Bulldogs. I’m no longer a betting man and I’m not going to make a call on either match-ups at all. I’ve seen my brackets seemingly go up in smoke much the same way that Vanilla Ice’s and MC Hammer’s careers did. Where are they now ?
The Final Four and the championship game itself will be something special to watch and I for one can vouch that I find this tournament far more exciting and exhilarating that the BCS national title game in football. Here you actually have a champion of merit while with college football it’s the premise that we’re witnessing a champion. Yeah, big deal when the none BCS conferences barely get the chance to put on their dancing shoes and strut their stuff against the ‘big boys’ . At least in the NCAA basketball tournament you’re invited to the dance and everyone is on an even footing. So let’s dance ?
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………..
David Bowie …………“Let’s Dance”
English glamor model Lucy Pinder . Do you like ? In order to enjoy the gallery up close and personal just click on the pictures individually.