Title Tilt Tune-Up: Saturday Night Fever Delivers the Two to Tango
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If you had Michigan and Louisville in your national championship pool, then congratulations!
But you're still getting your butt kicked by a six-year-old!
Louisville had to fight its way back against a tough Wichita State team, which gave them all they could handle. At one point, the Cardinals were down by 12, but made a comeback and then had to hold on for dear life against a so-called mid-major Shockers squad that was making a run in the game's final seconds.
As fate (and a call) would have it, Rick Pitino's crew held on in the end, 72-68. Their opponent is the rockin' and runnin' Michigan Wolverines. They finally solved the vaunted Syracuse defense, but like Louisville, they also had to hold on for the right to vie for the championship on Monday night.
Michigan still held a steady lead over the Orange early in the second half but stood a free-throw away from choking in the waning seconds. The way the Wolverines were missing free-throws at the end of the game, you would have thought the ghost of Chris Webber had donned the maize-and-blue down the stretch.
Luckily for them, a bad play at the end by the Orange saved their day and preserved the 61-56 victory. Syracuse curiously opted for the trey, not two, when they went for what became their last shot of the game. They were crummy from behind the arc all evening and thus paid the penalty for attempting to cheat fate.
Incidentally, the entertainment didn't stop at the buzzer. In a blatant attempt to win the Jim Gray Memorial Dumbass Interviewer of the Month Award, CBS online sports reporter Greg Doyel lobbed a verbal grenade at an already agitated Jim Boeheim right after the game. Still stinging from his first loss ever in an NCAA semi-final, the Syracuse head coach was in no mood to hear Doyel clumsily ask him if he was going to retire. Maybe it was a great-great-great relative of his who asked Mrs Lincoln how she liked the play, because timing that bad could only be inherited.
Boeheim responded accordingly, and now Doyel can confirm there was at least one place in Atlanta where the sun never shone and that the 'Cuse coach suggested that was where the interviewer's question could be filed.
Unfortunately, they took the fun out of it for the rest of us by making up.