The thrill of victory ...

posted Apr 5, 2016, 12:57 PM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Apr 5, 2016, 12:58 PM ]
... and the agony of defeat.

March 19, I wrote a post titled, David and Goliath, about the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Last night was the championship game and it did not disappoint. I believe it will go down in history as one of the best games ever.

I’ll set it up for you. #2 seed Villanova took on #1 seed North Carolina. All night the lead went back and forth. A few times I felt the game was over because one team or the other went up by 8 or 10 points. The last five minutes of the game had Villanova up and in control, but North Carolina clawed their way back. With five seconds left in the game, Marcus Paige hit a ridiculous three pointer to tie the game at 74. I was excited because a tie meant the game would go into overtime and add to the drama. BUT, with less than one second (<1), Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hit a three pointer clinching the win.

The Villanova players and fans went crazy. What a way to win. The last time Villanova won the championship was 1985, so this win was even more special. The camera panned the North Carolina players standing there with shocked looks on their faces. What a way to lose. For the average spectator, the game couldn’t have been better.

There were dozens of posts and articles written about the game last night. Below are two paragraphs from Yahoo Sports article named, “Tar Heels everywhere, including Michael Jordan couldn’t hide their agony.”

“The Tar Heels entered the night with theirs full and pumping rocket fuel, only to exit it with the posture of a deflated balloon. Bodies sagged into chairs. Towels hung over heads. Foggy expressions on the perimeter of the locker room said everything, without speaking much at all. The little that was said mostly revolved around a splinter of time: a mere five seconds that became one of the most amazing moments in Carolina basketball history, then was hammered flat.

Marcus Paige and that incredible double-clutch 3-pointer to tie the national championship at 74-74. It was improbable, almost impossible, and most certainly something for the ages. But this particular age lasted for only a few minutes. Roughly enough time for Villanova to take a timeout and then run a ball up the court and stop the hearts of hundreds of thousands of the baby-blue clad faithful."

Well, now that March Madness is over, I’ll have to become serious again about writing. But, I can hardly wait for next March to arrive.