While March is over and we are now a couple of days into April (yikes!), that does not mean that the Madness of March Madness has fully ended. Tonight will be the final game that puts all of this madness to rest. He who remains standing will be crowned king of the mountain – or at least the winner of March Madness for the DI Men’s Basketball Championship.
This year’s matchup does not feature any Cinderella stories as have the past two years with Butler’s improbable run to two championship games. This year is the return of the traditional powerhouse teams squaring off: Kansas and Kentucky. Both of these programs and coaches are extremely familiar with deep NCAA Tournament runs, Final Four appearances, and championship games. For the traditionalist fan who enjoys the historical powerhouse matchups, this one’s for you. For the fan who enjoys a great underdog story, well sorry, but this year may not cater to your interest (unless you consider Kansas an underdog to Kentucky’s NBA-laden roster). For the fan who enjoys palindromes, this one is for you: UK v KU or KU v UK.
But the real exciting matchup that’s going on in this game happens to be a more personal rivalry. And this one does involve a potential Cinderella story. Intrigued?
You may recall that just a few short weeks ago, I reported on some early bracketology success and was rejoicing in some heavy favorites’ early tournament exits that seemed to bode well for my own bracket. As this isn’t my first dance, I tried to remain cautiously optimistic because I am more than aware that early success in March Madness can be fleeting and can turn around to bite you in the butt.
Well, it did.
As it happens, I missed on a few key upsets that really hurt my bracket. And they were all so close (aren’t they always when you miss…). So there I stood with only 1 correct Final Four team. Oh how the mighty fell. Alright, not so mighty, but I usually can get at least 2 Final Four teams (usually).
Then I realize that staring me down with only 1 correct Final Four team was Em with her first bracket ever. The rookie. Little Cinderella. Well, it would have been just too weird for both of our live Final Four teams to win their respective games and meet up for the championship game.
But it happened.
Yes, Em went with all the #1 seeds and didn’t know the correct abbreviations for some of the schools. Yes, I went with some gutsy upsets that didn’t pan out. But here we are. Regardless of our different methods and strategies for picking teams. Squared off. Prepared to do battle. Em with the #1 overall seed and favorite – Kentucky, and me with Kansas.
Let the Madness play itself out tonight, with one of us becoming victorious, the other wallowing in defeat. Rock Chalk Jayhawk tonight.