Sunday, March 18, 2018

Hail Mary! Hail to the Victors! Hail Michigan! Hail Jordan Poole!

Hail Mary! Hail to the Victors! Hail Jordan Poole! Jordan Poole drained a 3 pointer as the clock ran out; Michigan defeated Houston 64-63. He swished the basket from 30 feet out, Downtown Freddy Brown territory. Shooting guard Jordan Poole, a freshman from Milwaukee, is listed at 6’4”, but he plays higher. Jordan Poole’s shot was reminiscent of another freshman named Jordan, Michael Jordan. MJ drilled a jump shot at the buzzer to lead North Carolina to a 63-62 victory over Georgetown in the 1982 NCAA Basketball Championship. Villanova won the title two years ago on a buzzle beater from Kris Jenkins, 77-74 over North Carolina. Another classic tournament play was by UCLA’s Tyus Edney, who drove the length of the court with 4.8 seconds on the clock and made a short bank shot to defeat Missouri in the regionals 75-74. UCLA went on to win the title. Washington Bullets Coach Dick Motta said in the 1978 NBA championship tournament when his Bullets were down 3-2 with the final game at Seattle: “The opera isn’t over until the Fat Lady sings.” I love it when my team pulls it out at the end. I hate it when they lost that way. I feel sad for the losing teams when they lose on Hail Mary’s and Buzzer Beaters. They have gone from exhilaration to agony in a few nano-seconds. This year brackets are busted for most people after 3 days. David can beat Goliath. Mighty Casey can strike out. The Number One seed Virginia was blown out by 16 seed UMBC, 75-54. Who or what is a UMBC? The University of Maryland Baltimore County Retriever’s defeat of Virginia is in the books is as monumental as Appalachian State defeating #5 ranked Michigan 34-32 on September 1, 2007 in the Big House. It’s up there with the U.S. Hockey Team Miracle on Ice defeating Russia 4-2 in the semi-final game against the Russia in the 1980 winter Olympics at lake Placid. The American amateurs defeated the reigning, professional Olympic Gold Medalist champions. Arizona, another favorite to reach the Final 4, was crushed 89-68 by 13 seed Buffalo. Both Houston and Michigan had trouble scoring on offense because their tight, physical defenses were incredible. It was an exciting physical game. Houston’s great offensive star, Rob Gray, scored 39 points against San Diego State Thursday. He may be the next coming of Steph Curry. He scored 23 against Michigan, but it was on 8 for 22 shooting. Houston missed two free throws with 3.8 seconds left, leaving a chance for Michigan to tie or win. Michigan went cold from three point territory, shooting several air balls prior to Jordan Poole’s perfect shot. Doesn’t matter! Michigan advances in a Hollywood ending. By way of full disclosure, my Fantasy Bracket has Michigan defeating Michigan State in the finals for the title (not happening), and my wife is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo.

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