Such a golden time, yesterday. We were young...er. The sun was out. The air was soft. Life was full of possibility, and we were so sure of everything, so in tune with the eternal verities, that the road ahead was bright and shining and we could glimpse, down at the end of it, the happy nirvana of next Thursday.
Wings. Beer. Oh, my God, look, Belmont just knocked off Duke.
In those false, lying times, the Blob said with stone certainty that Indiana was in the Madness. It said the bracketology nerds had the Hoosiers so far inside the rope the security guard manning it looked as tiny as Anna Kendrick.
And then ...
And then a sound from out west, oddly triumphant. A full-throated roar, punctuating by the merry clink of adult-beverage bottles, from the direction of lovely mountain-swaddled Laramie, Wyoming.
Their Cowboys had just whipped San Diego State for the Mountain West title. Which meant the Mountain West will now have two teams in the Madness instead of one, because the Aztecs were already a lock to get in, and the only way Wyoming was going to was by beating them.
And now the slide-rule and coefficient boys referenced here yesterday are saying that knocks Indiana off the bubble, because it effectively gobbles up a precious at-large bid reserved for them. And if UConn, which plays for the American Conference title today, can manage to upset SMU for the American Conference title today (the Huskies probably won't, but you never know), that will almost certainly send the Hoosiers off to the wilds of the NIT.
Or so say the pocket protectors.
I say if there is any day which gives the eternal verities the back of its hand, it's today. Yesterday was a golden time. Today is a time for a bunch of guys holed up in a hotel room figuring out whose hearts to crush in their fists while squabbling over who gets the last slice of pepperoni.
In other words: It's too close to call.
But if Indiana gets shut out ("Heads they're in; tails they're out," shouts one sleep-deprived selector, flipping that last slice of pepperoni in the air), it'll be the doorway to a world we never thought we'd see.
Wyoming makes the NCAA Tournament, but Indiana doesn't.
How's that for possibility?