One of the things I appreciate about human nature is our indomitable spirit. We like to tell ourselves things that make us feel unstoppable. And it sounds great. Until, well, we think we can and we can't. Not everything is possible, I guess. Like a perfect bracket, for instance.
I hope you found a cozy spot to watch at least a few of the games Thursday. I have a few observations from the games I got to watch:
- If you watched Wichita St. - Arizona, you saw Sean Miller's intensity on display. Extended commercial break opportunities during the tournament make me think that there's a sponsor who has found its golden boy.
- Wichita St. was really underseeded. Nate Silver's site had them as a 60% likely winner before the game.
- Grant Hill is a commentator now. He's in mid-career mode already. Evidence? During the Kentucky game, when Dominique Hawkins entered from the bench, Hill said "He comes in, does his job, and wants to put the ball in the basket." I'm assuming that contrasts with other players who want to stay out, do nothing, and feel ambivalent about putting the ball in the basket. Looking at you, Monmouth bench.
- I know I embedded it above, but the sheer, unbridled, uninhibited chutzpah of this Isiah Hicks dunk attempt deserves a second look. It is a marvel.
- I found myself cheering for Yale as an underdog. So here's to Yale students finally finding some success in the world.
- Postgame press conferences can be the worst. "How does it feel to lose?" "Can you put into words how it feels to lose?" "Did you know you guys were going to lose?" "Loser loser lose lose lose: how do those words make you feel, Mr. Loser Von Loser-son?" So, even though he lost, for taking on the weak questions of the world with a sick burn, Taurean Prince just earned a spot in the postgame hall of fame.
- I realized I'm old when I found myself marveling at the fluidity of Purdue's passing against Arkansas-Little Rock. I've apparently become the audience for Vines like this. The outcome of the game, however, is a good reminder that your grandpa doesn't know anything about sports any more. Sure, Purdue lost, but they lost with sound fundamentals.
- Steve Lappas called the Purdue/ALR game. I can't hear him without thinking of Carl from Aqua Team Hunger Force.
- I didn't watch FGCU vs. FDU Tuesday, but no game for the rest of the tournament will feature two schools whose letters look so much like Internet slang for rude retorts.
- I did watch Vanderbilt vs. Wichita State on Tuesday. Most of the game might as well have been Alphonse & Gaston politely taking turns declining to score or try to win. Kevin Stallings got a tech that pretty much ended his team's chances. In the end, Vanderbilt went more Carnegie than Rockefeller and left the tournament to more deserving heirs.
- Related: I realized the other day that two of my kids have never known a time when Barack Obama wasn't president. I feel like none of my kids have known a time when Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker didn't play for Wichita State.