Let’s play the completely futile game of ‘what if’ for a moment. I know it seems pointless, but I found myself daydreaming about the underdog story that we could’ve had the chance to see had Wichita State advanced to the national championship game. It would have been an exciting storyline and a lot of fun to watch. Everyone knows the national loves an underdog (just like they love cheering for those overcoming a tragic experience, i.e. Ware and UofL). Here are four nice things that could have come to fruition if WSU beat the Cards:
(1) A chance to see the lowest seed since ’85 Villanova (#8) be a champion. Do you remember that wide-eyed feeling of excitement as Gordon Hayward’s buzzer beating half-court shot floated towards the basket in hope of downing Duke for the title? That feeling is what sports are all about, and that’s when March Madness is at its peak. If the Shockers had beat the Cards, we could have had another chance to witness a great storyline play out in the finals.
(2) Solid proof that this was the year that anyone could beat anyone on any given night. My theory since before the season started was that no team in America was the clear cut best. UofL and IU were good but in no way did I think the preseason #1 and #2 intimidating. Since then, we’ve seen analysts and fans alike call this a ‘down year.’ The lack of surefire future NBA stars and dominant teams led to that conclusion, but the parity was compelling. I was hoping to see no favorites in the title game, and a #9 vs. #4 title game would have been so fitting.
(3) Freedom from incessant Card-fan boasting and ridicule. While Ware’s injury had me cheering for them to beat Duke, I now fear (and already can’t escape) the ridicule from UofL fans about the Cats disappointing season. If the Cards win a title, we won’t hear the end of it. WSU had a chance to insure we could be free of that. Okay, maybe not all the way free. But it wouldn’t have been as bad as them waving a national title in front of our face for another 365 days.
(4) We could’ve witnessed the nation throw this up in unison:
But alas, we cannot. It was a nice run by the Shockers, but the reality of a potential UofL title is setting in. Not sure how I feel about that.