Here we are, just hours away from the Final Four. We have seen 61 teams fall off the path to the championship and only four remain. No, Kansas is not one of them. No, Kentucky lost too. Yeah, and Syracuse. It has been crazy. Anyway, here are 10 questions that are on everyone's minds as the 2010 NCAA Tournament winds down...
Will the Blue Devils find revenge?
#7 West Virginia upset #2 Duke 73-67 in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Duke will certainly have vengeance on its mind tonight. All five Duke starters played in that '08 West Region game in Washington D.C. West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler and Joe Mazzulla combined for 21 points in the upset.
Can the Spartans keep rolling without Lucas?
When Kalin Lucas went down with a torn achilles tendon late in the first half of Michigan State's win over Maryland, everyone wrote the Spartans off. Then Korie Lucious shocked us all with a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Terps. The Spartans then moved on to a win over Kansas Northern Iowa and another late miracle to beat Tennessee in the Elite Eight.
Did you know Butler is only 6.02 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium?
And, did you know Hoosiers was filmed at Butler's Hinkle Field House? Did you know that? Of course you did. And, like me, I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it.
Will Darryl "Truck" Bryant return for West Virginia?
The Mountaineers' point guard broke his foot in practice before the Sweet Sixteen and is dying to get back on the court. Bryant is listed as "highly unlikely" which basically means "he definitely won't play but it's the Final Four so everything is a storyline."
Gordon Hayward can't really be that good - can he?
Yes, he can and he is. I know he doesn't pass the looks test but Gordon Hayward is a future NBA pick. The Horizon League Player of the Year averaged just under 16 points on the season and has been even more impressive in the tournament. He scored 22 points in Butler's win over Kansas State and 17 in the win over Syracuse. Hayward's the real deal. (Insert Hoosier's reference)
Does anyone outside of Durham like the Blue Devils?
It certainly doesn't seem like it. Even the Indianapolis Star got in on the hate. No one can really explain why (other than Coach K's facial expressions and the flopping) but it seems that the entire nation can agree on one thing - everyone despises Duke. Everyone.
Hey, did you know Butler is only 6.02 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium?
Oh, you did? Well, it's also where Hoosi... I did? I said that already? I'm sorry. Just making sure you knew that. Carry on.
Can Huggy Bear finally get his ring?
Love him or hate him, Bob Huggins is one of the best to do it and he finally has the chance to win the grand prize The Huggy Bear is in his first Final Four since 1992 and he has his alma mater there for the first time since 1959. It's easy to point out graduation rates, his players' off the court issues, and his classic D.U.I. video with vomit on the driver's side door - but let's not forget that Huggins is a hell of a basketball coach. Add to the fact that he is facing Coach K, and he is finally that guy we can root for. Plus his mafia style tracksuits say, "I want to win, but I'm here to party."
Who will win it all?
Many believe the Duke-West Virginia semifinal game is the national championship game. The Blue Devils and the Mountaineers are undoubtedly the two best teams left and if Dick Vitale had his way, the committee would reseed the Final Four. While it's certainly not impossible for Butler or Michigan to win it all (never doubt Tom Izzo,) whoever advances between Duke and WV will be feeling good heading into the title game.
Is Jennifer Hudson singing "One Shining Moment?"
Yes she is. I don't agree with it, either.