Sour 16

Only IU can make you believe in miracles and then sucker punch when you’re looking the other way, like down the Road to the Final Four.

It was a season that flatlined several times before the final TOD was declared on Saturday. We should feel lucky—glad, even—that they got back into the tournament. We should feel good about the win over San Diego State, and we should look to the future, to the dawning of a new era. These next couple weeks and maybe even months will be exciting as Rick Greenspan searches for a new coach, and we’ll be turning to the sports page everyday to see whom he’s interviewing. See, there’s a lot to smile about, but we’re just so darn disappointed.

I mean, this was kind of the Little Team That Could. They succeeded when it seemed impossible, and they failed when it seemed easy. Marco scored 34 points against Duke and Sheldon Williams. They had 16 three-pointers in that game against Gonzaga. Sixteen is a lot. But they lost to Penn State. This was a team that could inspire love and hate almost with the same shot. So why not go all the way? Maybe I just wasn’t ready to let Marshall Strickland go.

Speaking of disappointed, what’s with the Sweet 16? I am not impressed. I honestly can’t believe we lost all six Big Ten teams in the first two rounds. That doesn’t mean I won’t watch. It just means I’ll scowl every time I think about the Final Four last year, about Michigan State AND Illinois bringing long-deserved national recognition to their conference.

I want Duke and Gonzaga in the Final Four so that J.J. Redick can show Adam Morrison who the player of the year is.