March 28th, 2009

Wildcat Reporter

The Kentucky Wildcats just fired their coach of two years, both because the team didn't make this year's tourney and because he would apparently rather carouse than coddle boosters. The Arizona Wildcats did better than expected, making the Sweet Sixteen, only to suffer one of the most brutal defeats I've witnessed after the first week of play, reminding me of Michigan State's dismantling of Penn in the 1979 Final Four. Anyone else see out there watch that game live? At least the Depaul-Indiana State game that followed was close. Finally, the Villanova Wildcats, which I recently noted are my second-favorite Big East team after Syracuse, eviscerated Duke on Thursday and rallied to defeat a tough Pitt team this evening, thereby making the Final Four in a year that may see three teams from their conference in the semifinals, something that happened once before, in 1985, when they joined Patrick Ewing's favored Georgetown squad and a fine St. John's team with Chris Mullin as a huge underdog, but ended up winning it all in a shockingly well-played final. Perhaps fate will beam sunshine on the Wildcat diaspora this year as well.

A Date With the Undertaker

Tomorrow the Cal women take on top-ranked and undefeated Connecticut in a Sweet Sixteen contest. The odds of the Bears prevailing are so small that they can't be seen with the naked eye. Still, I'll be watching with hope in my heart. As I said to Skylar this afternoon, if Cal wins it would be even bigger than when Jason Kidd's freshman-year team defeated one-seeded Duke back in 1993.