I love winter about as much as Shagari Alleyne loves PBS. So, on mundane mondays such as today when there is no work to be done, I dutifly take advantage of the 55-inch HD-TV my roomate has so graciously bestowed upon the quarters. As if being pulled like one of those big horshoe magnets from cartoons, I instinctively flock to the couch and flip to the ESPN’s to see if I can watch SportsCenter (you know how pitiful you feel when you’ve memorized the lines by 11am), or possibly an Apolo Ohno press conference on ESPNEWS (who watches these things?) However, today I stumbled upon an old memory that just quite wasn’t old enough. Classic was running the UK/UAB tourney game from two seasons ago in Columbus. Remember when you had to sit through Titanic for 3 excrutiating hours although you knew how it was going to end? Are we not haunted enough the ceaseless highlight of Laettner (ch. 11) euphoria, and crying winners?
However, the 2003-04 edition of the Cats just happened to be one of my all-time favorite teams. What a sr. class, right Tubby? ‘Erk’ Daniels, ‘Gurld’ Fitch, Hawkins, and the Rod Rhodes of JUCO, Antwain Barbour. Throw in Hayes, Jane, and Bernard Cote, and it’s amazing how much each player dramtically improved their games each year they played. I took for granted the toughness, and creativity of the ‘Hawk’, the consistent stroke of Fitch, and the ABA-flair of Daniels.
This roller-coaster of a season has made me yearn for the days of consistent winning, and Tubby Ball precision.
After watching the second-round KO, I’m still flabberghasted as to how UAB beat us. UK had a 5 point lead inside of 2 minutes, but simply crumbled under the “40 minutes of hell, ugly faces and gator boots.” In the end, you just had to hand it to UAB, as they answered every UK run, and out-physicaled the overall #1 seed. I’m equally as puzzled as to why Classic would show that game. It was close and a significant upset, but I doubt anyone would venture to call it a “classic.” Except maybe those down in ‘Burminham’.
I’m glad I got to see those guys back in uniform, but I shouldn’t have watched this game; the wound wasn’t quite stiched all the way. Yet, in a way it gives me hope, as this current UK team could be the UAB of this year’s tournament.
And in case your curious and you want feel your heart being re-ripped from your chest, last years Mich. St. Regional Final will be on March 5.