Another college basketball season has come and gone.
College hoops fans are left with several questions after Villanova’s 79-62 win over Michigan to win the national championship. Journalists/wannabe basketball insiders Mark Bergin, Eric Heubusch, Lara Saavedra and Justin Nunez try to answer some of them.
What’s your tweet-length recap of the NCAA Tournament?
Mark Bergin: I need two tweets. Twitter’s extended 280-character length has spoiled me.
Tweet one: People will remember this tournament by the rise in fame of the University of Maryland Baltimore County Athletics Twitter account and Sister Jean. Where can I order a Sister Jean bobblehead?!
Tweet two: No. 16 seeds have a 1-135 record against No. 1 seeds in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
Eric Heubusch: Villanova was the only team to live up to their hype.
Lara Saavedra: Donte DiVincenzo aka the flamethrower was unstoppable.
Justin Nunez: Absolutely phenomenal. Loyola-Chicago provided another perfect Cinderella story.
How awful is Eastern time for live sporting events?
Bergin: The game tipped off at 9:20 p.m. ET. I feel like an old man, but it’s too late. Is there anyone opposed to moving up the start of the game?
Heubusch: I want to take a different take on this: Why are these collegiate games on Monday? An actual school night for a large portion of these teams’ fanbases? Eastern time is fine, especially for the NFL season (who wants to wake up early on Sunday?). However, why are the NCAA football and basketball championship games on the day of the week everyone literally hates the most?
Bergin: My theory? To ensure Tuesday remains the worst day of the week.
Saavedra: A 9:20 p.m. tip-off is pretty heinous for your everyday Joes and Janes. Can we please get an earlier time next year?
Bergin: I wanted to stay up to watch “One Shining Moment!”
Can you imagine being a college student at Villanova?
Bergin: Philadelphia fans get a national championship and a Super Bowl victory in a two-month span.
A similar experience would be in the University of Florida’s heyday when Tim Tebow and Joakim Noah won titles for the Gators.
Also, don’t forget the 2002 NFL season when the Chicago Bears were forced to play all their home games at the University of Illinois because of the rebuilding of Soldier Field. I have no idea how this happened, especially considering Champaign, Illinois, is more than a two-hour drive from downtown Chicago. I can’t wrap my head around back-to-back days of tailgating.
Nunez: I would thank the team by proceeding to take the rest of the week off from classes. The entire campus has to be absolutely buzzing. I attended a small Division II college where sports weren’t a focal point, so I have no idea what that feels like.
Saavedra: I would immediately start a Jay Wright for school president campaign after the victory parade and/or ceremony.
Heubusch: The basketball championships would be nice, but wouldn’t you rather be more relevant in all sports? I’d rather be a student at a school with more prominent football, basketball, baseball, softball -- blah, blah, blah, I guess academic -- programs. Does Villanova have a football program?
How long did you have a vested interest in the tournament?
Bergin: My beloved Missouri Tigers got whipped in the first round by a Florida State team that made the Elite Eight.
Once UMBC got knocked out, I wondered if Michigan coach John Beilein would bring back the super soaker? He didn’t. It’s no wonder the Wolverines lost in the championship game.
Saavedra: Sister Jean and Loyola-Chicago kept the tournament interesting for me. I will take a David beating a Goliath any day. Even though they didn’t win it all -- the Ramblers made their mark on this year’s tournament and Sister Jean will forever be America’s darling.
Heubusch: Once Michigan State checked out, I checked out. Nunez and I were leading the pack at the office bracket challenge, but that loss wrecked us and I carried too much contempt throughout the rest of the tournament for the whole process.
What team failed to live up to expectations?
Bergin: I’m going to with Kentucky. The yellow brick road led to the Final Four for the Wildcats.
Each team seeded ahead of them in the region got knocked out in the first two rounds of the tournament: No. 1 seed Virginia, No. 2 Cincinnati, No. 3 Tennessee and No. 4 Arizona.
The South region’s Elite Eight featured No. 9 seeded Kansas State against No. 11 seeded Loyola-Chicago.
Saavedra: The fact that Trae Young and the Oklahoma Sooners couldn’t win ONE game in the tournament was unpleasant to say the least. They had so much promise at the start of the season and then they crumbled under the pressure. We’ll see if the team bounces back next season without Young.
Heubusch: Virginia was easily hyped up as the best defensive team in the tournament, and lost to a team who:
• Has a Retriever (like the dog) as its mascot
• 80 percent of the country could not tell you its full name, let alone where it is or what conference it’s in
• Was an ACTUAL 16 SEED
A joke! It’s all a joke!
In honor of Virginia, here is the list of all the possible things I thought UMBC could stand for before I actually found out that it was University of Maryland, Baltimore County:
•University of Massachusetts, Boston College
•University of Miami, Broward County
•University of Mischief, Beware of Clowns
•Uranus to Mercury, Bow down to the Cosmos
•U thought you Might win, But C’mon man
•U Might think harambe is dead, But it’s a Conspiracy
Bergin: Looks like we lost Nunez.