Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sometimes the Madness goes against you

Down 12 with less than 5 minutes to go, I had kind of resigned myself to a frustrating Badger loss where Florida shot well and refs gave the Gators a nice assist by allowing UF to play a lot of defense with their hands while calling everything on UW tight.

And then somehow, this team surprised me again, culminating with this.

We hit a miracle shot and then the guy who hits the shot turns to AARON FREAKING RODGERS IN THE CROWD and gives the "discount double-check"? There's no way we're losing after that.

And we're up 5 with less than a minute to go, but seem to run out of gas and blow the lead. But Nigel hits 2 FTs with 4 seconds left, UW is still up 2, and all we need is one more stop and it's a historic win and I might be heading downtown to celebrate.

And then...

Yes, I was able to get home after peeling myself off of the bar floor. But it's not going to be cool to be seeing and reliving that shot during "March Madness" promos for the next 20 years. Especially since the Badgers' side of the bracket was wide open, and I think UW would have played in the title game given who they'd have played (S. Carolina and then Gonzaga/Xavier).

Look, it's the greatest annual sporting event in America for a reason- games like that one. It's just blows that my alma mater's on the bad end of one of those great games. Take a look at this win probability chart, and especially focus in on the roller coaster for the last 5 minutes of regulation and OT.... and the final crash.

Even though it ended in heartbreaking fashion, and that I'm still numb over it, I need to step back and realize this group of seniors just completed probably the best 4-year run of basketball of any class at UW. And represented my alma mater in great ways both on and off the court, showing there's more to being a UW basketball player than putting a ball through a hoop.

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