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A Crazy Weekend

March 19, 2018 - 12:58 pm

How was your weekend? Because the NCAA tournament’s weekend was awesome. Maybe the best weekend ever. The NCAA tournament really is that guy rolling into the office raving about all the cool things he did since you saw him on Friday afternoon. And he’d be right. Because that was incredible.

How crazy was the weekend? Buffalo smashing Arizona feels like it was last year. And it was Thursday.

Here’s a mini-recap:

The defending champs, North Carolina, cracked by 21, by Texas A&M

Florida State coming back to knock out 1-seed Xavier

Clemson smashing Auburn by 31

Texas Tech beating Florida in a nail-biter

Syracuse barely getting into the tournament and then knocking out Michigan State

Michigan’s Jordan Poole running a dagger through Houston’s heart:

And then Academy Award winner Jordan PEELE tweeting: ‘I wanna thank everyone for the congratulatory messages. When you practice your jump shot as much as I have, you just hope one day it’ll pay off.’

Oh, and the Karma was strong this weekend. Very, very strong. Texas Tech, Florida State, Nevada, and Loyola to name just a few.

And let me take a moment here to address Loyola. How badass is this crew? First trip to the tournament in three decades, they beat Miami on a last-second shot and it’s a great story. But you know how this goes – a great moment, but then they crash back to earth against Tennessee and get hammered in the next round. Wrong. You know what’s better than one buzzer-beater upset? Two buzzer-beater upsets. I give you Clayton Custer and some incredible bounces on the rim.

Bucket to Custer, but the assist has to go to Sister Jean. The 98-year-old nun is just as legendary, if not more legendary, than the Rambler players. And she knows it. She was asked about what it was like to become a national sensation and her response: “Really, if I can correct, you, international.”

Yes! Sister Jean with STRAIGHT FIRE!!

And in terms of UMBC shocking the world Friday night and taking becoming the first 16 to ever beat a 1: listen, I said going into the week, just because it had never happened before, didn’t mean it wouldn’t happen. Because it would. That it wasn’t a question of if, but rather a matter of when. I called that. But I didn’t mean this year and I really didn’t mean that game. But the Retrievers shocked the world with one of the biggest upsets of all time, and reminded everyone why the NCAA tournament might be the greatest event in all of sports.

UMBC was so amazing, that Nevada, which would be the story of any other Sweet 16, may actually be somewhat overlooked. Overlooked after coming back from down 14 against Texas and then chasing that with one of the most unbelievable comebacks in tournament history, stabbing Cincinnati in the hearts after being 22 down. I don’t hot take; I don’t spew molten lava to get clicks or to get people to look at me. And I sure as hell don’t play favorites.

My favorite team is TEAM CONTENT; and my favorite athlete is anyone who gives me something to talk about, good or bad. But if I’m being real, and this is a big Mick Cronin house, I go as far back with Eric Musselman as probably anyone in my professional career. Muss and I didn’t grow up together but we came up together. He was one of the first guys I interviewed when I got my break in Santa Barbara back in the 80s. I first spoke to Muss when he was the 23 year old GM slash coach of the Rapid City thrillers in the CBA. So I’ve known Muss 3 decades, you’ve heard him on this show over the years, dozens of times. And I can say in all sincerity, I’m not sure I’ve met a guy this fierce, this driven, this competitive and with his discipline and work ethic. Couldn’t be happier for the dude or the Wolfpack family for pulling of what he and they did this weekend. More on that a little later and conversation with him as well.

And let me take a moment right now to say something on behalf of everyone else in the world: nobody cares about your bracket. Nobody cares that you had Virginia beating Michigan State in the title game. Or that all four of your final four teams are out. Or that you were thinking of picking Loyola to advance to the Sweet 16, but then you erased it – you weren’t. Stop it. And if you start a sentence with “But in my other bracket…” you’re just looking to get clowned. And for people to hate you.

Nobody ever cares about your bracket, but particularly this year, because everyone’s bracket has been torched. And if you’re complaining about your bracket after what you saw over the last four days, that’s a you problem, not an us problem. Because if you can’t step back and say, damn, that was a great weekend because you’re too busy whining, then forget winning the office pool, you’ve lost at life.