First, a special shout out is deserving for the Women's team who slid into the final four with ease. They are representing the University with finesse and I'm thinking the only way to undo Breanna Stewart is a little CNY guilt tripping. She could of played for the local team (nah! She's done well for herself in Connecticut). Syracuse made it into the big dance with much skill, great coaching, tremendous heart, and perseverance.
And the Men's team. I'm a doubter. I didn't think they should have made the tournament and I argued that Monmouth University should have gotten a bid from the MAAC conference. Ah, but they slid in. I watched with trepidation and became a bit of a fanatic when I told Abu, "If they can beat Middle State Tennessee by 20, I'll believe." They got them by 25.
Then last night...last night...Man oh man oh man. I was awaiting Chitunga's Italian return and started to get distracted after Cuse lost its lead in the first 10 minutes. Abu and Lossine told me they fell asleep. Tunga got home at halftime, and we caught up while the game kicked off again. He went upstairs to unpack and I started watching the Orangemen come back one basket at a time. Then they just took over.
I couldn't believe it. Final Four. I was screaming so loud that my dog began barking at me. I don't think she (or Chitunga) appreciated my hollering from downstairs, but I was stoked, amped and pumped by the win.
Then, I remembered what I've said this entire season and realized, I am eating a bit of crow. It's not that I'm unfaithful, it's that I'm a realist.
And this run is unreal. It is so much fun, too.
So here is to next week. Final Four. Syracuse is very much deserving of the opportunity, no matter what happens. They've had a tremendous run that makes up for the shitty NCAA decisions from last year.
Cuse! Cuse! Cuse! I remain a believer!