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Random Final Four Thoughts

March 27, 2012 - Al Stephenson
Well the Madness has come down to the last four teams. Will I be sitting in front of the tube watching the final three games of the basketball season? You bet I will.

The tournament has been very exciting thus far with a pair of 15 seeds upsetting #2's. MAC tournament champion Ohio University made it to the Sweet 16 and had top seed North Carolina on the ropes before dropping the overtime contest. The final weekend should not disappoint.

One of the more interesting comments from the Elite 8 matchups came from an announcer who was quoting Kansas coach Bill Self. He suggested that the pressure on his players was immense because of the high expectations of Jayhawk fans. When Kansas wins, it's expected. If they lose, blame will follow swiftly. His players were not having fun and he wanted to reinject that missing piece in his program. Good luck with that Coach.

Actually I agree with Bill Self. We have put so much emphasis on winning that getting to the Final Four is not enough in many programs. For me personally, I am impressed that the Ohio State Buckeyes got there. A lot of great teams are finished already, yet the Buckeyes are on their way to New Orleans with an opportunity to win the national title. Do they have to win it all to validate the season? Not for me. It's been a great season - win or lose this weekend.

The favorite? No doubt in my mind. It's Kentucky. They are the most talented team. They may well have more trouble in the semis than the championship game. The state of Kentucky is awash with excitement as the Wildcats take on Louisville. This game could be interesting, though most of us will not find it nearly as thrilling as the residents of the Bluegrass State will.

My daughter gave me a reason to reconsider rooting for the Buckeyes. She entered the office pool with two separate brackets. If Kansas beats the Bucks she will win on her first bracket. If the Jayhawks can win the whole shooting match, she will win with one bracket and come in second with the other. Yes, they are paying first and second!

The view from my seat suggests the games in New Orleans will be fun to watch. As much as I would like to see my daughter win some money, my thought is - GO BUCKS!!


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