If you’re browsing through the dictionary and come upon “clutch,” you may see a picture of Aaron Harrison. Not only did he launch deep shots to help his team get to the National Championship Game, he did it three different times.
Three different times with a hand in his face. Wildcat Nation has found its new Prince Charming wearing blue sneakers. Then there is Shabazz Napier, the man, the myth and the legend, who does work on any court against any team. And after last night, he is a two-time national champion. Yes, he played a role in the Kemba Walker March takeover back in 2011.
The championship game was a letdown, and I can’t be the only one who feels that way. Other than James Young dunking on half of the state of Connecticut, it was kinda bland.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the enthusiasm of Kevin Ollie. He was basically playing defense for most of the second half. Or the fire of the seven freshmen that garner Wildcat jerseys. But it just didn’t do it for me.
The game just seemed sloppy to me and, at times, it seemed like the players had been replaced your local JV basketball team. Once again, the national title game left me wanting more and dreaming of what could have been.
I bet that both of the teams were tired. A full month of playing basketball had to be tiring, especially with the amount of energy each game takes out of you. The importance of each game, I feel, adds another aspect to having an incredible run in March. But it can eventually drain players and coaches of all they have. I know that they left it all on the floor, but it seemed to lack the luster of the early games that we witnessed.
Just as I mentioned, Harrison has been a modern-day Superman when it seemed like the game was slipping away, but he wasn’t the only one that made March special. Mercer beating Duke was another moment that many, especially Coach K, won’t forget for a few years.
Or Dayton’s late run where many thought they had a chance of going deeper. Even Weber State had a hand in it, as they garnered an early lead and fought back against many people’s favorite to win the tourney, Arizona.
Had Kentucky kept it closer near the end, I can only imagine how many people Ollie would have put on Harrison to stop him from nailing a gut-wrenching shot. Or would Napier have been able to cement his legacy with a game-winning shot or defensive stop? He is up there on that list, but I think every athlete searches for that moment that kids will replay over and over again as they shoot in their backyard.
But for now, we are just left wanting more. We want more game-winning shots and more drama in the biggest game of the year. Maybe I am just a selfish sports fan, but can’t a man have his pie and eat it too?