Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Saving March. Or not.

So apparently Kris Jenkins saved the day, and that's not all. Heck, he saved March Madness!

Or so one of several narratives went, after Villanova won by 44 and North Carolina by 17 in the national semifinal games. The narrative was, March hadn't been Mad enough. It had been, ahem, boring. Two blowouts in the national semis only sealed the deal.

If only, the narrative continued, 'Nova and North Carolina could put on a show in the title game. Then, maybe, this Sominex of a March could be redeemed.

Well ...

Well, consider it redeemed. Or not.

To find a better end-of-game sequence than last night -- Marcus Paige hitting a scissor-kick three to tie it for Carolina with five seconds showing, then Jenkins winning it for 'Nova with a triple at the horn -- you have to go back to 1983, when Dereck Whittington's airball got turned into a national title for North Carolina State by Lorenzo Charles. That's still king, in the Blob's opinion, because if how purely out-of-left-field it was. But last night crowds its back bumper.

The only thing it didn't do was redeem March.

That's because March didn't really need redeeming, the narrative notwithstanding. If you watched the first weekend of the tournament -- one of the great March Madness weekends ever -- and concluded the tournament was boring, you weren't, well, watching.

I mean, you had buzzer beaters, including one from mid-court (hello Northern Iowa). You had stunning upsets (hello, Middle Tennessee State). You had heartbreaking collapses (hello, again, Northern Iowa), and an Elite Eight showdown of heavyweights masquerading as a second-round game (hello, Indiana and Kentucky).

And yet we needed Kris Jenkins to save all that? From what, precisely?

Sure, the Sweet Sixteen games weren't terribly dramatic, and there were those semifinal blowouts. But there are always games in the Madness that aren't terribly dramatic, and there are always blowouts. And, like it or not, a lot of that comes after the first weekend, which is what makes Da Tournament what it is to begin with.

And so, no, Kris Jenkins didn't save the Madness. He didn't redeem anything. All he did was give this particular March it's proper ending, given everything that happened the first weekend.

That weekend deserved what happened last night. So kudos.


No comments:

Post a Comment