Around the Water Cooler — April 1

In case you were too busy trying to figure out the difference between Winter and Spring in Montreal, here’s what you missed in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight…

Wisconsin Badgers — For the first time in Head Coach Bo Ryan’s career, the Wisconsin Buzzcuts have made the Final Four, knocking out pre-season favourites Arizona in overtime, 64-63. Frank Kaminsky led the way with 28 points, proving that un-athletic and gangly ‘athletes’ with mop-tops do, in fact, have a place in basketball. Wisconsin, usually known for its slow-paced, grind-it-out, decidedly ugly brand of basketball, actually has a team that is worth watching this year. Nevertheless, Ryan has continued to scowl despite the success of the squad this season, because scowling is the one thing that Bo Ryan can do better than coach basketball.

Florida Gators — The Florida Gators are the only team to not break any brackets this post-season, and have advanced to the Final Four. The team grounded the Dayton Flyers 62-52 to enter the final weekend of the season. The Flyers had already beaten Ohio State, Syracuse, and Stanford—a who’s who of college athletics—before falling to the Gators, a team that trots out four senior starters. For Southerners, it’s a reminder that there is life after college football, and that non-football playing student-athletes deserve to get paid, too. If only Florida’s football season had gone this well.

Connecticut Huskies — No, that isn’t Kemba Walker; it’s Shabazz Napier, apparently doing his best impression of the current NBA player. The senior has put the Huskies on his back so often that it’s surprising he’s still able to stand up straight. The latest act of heroism came in Connecticut’s 60-54 win over the Michigan State Spartans—President Barack Obama’s National Championship pick. At this point it is certain that anything is within the realm of possibility for the Connecticut Napiers.

Kentucky Wildcats — The Kiddy Cats started the season in the top four and are going to be ending the season in the Final Four after an unprecedented streak of play that belies their youth. Kentucky ousted last year’s national runner-up Michigan 75-72 in a back-and-forth affair in the Elite Eight. It was fitting that the Wildcats beat the Wolverines, as the last team to make it to the Final Four with an all-freshman starting lineup was the “Fab Five” of Michigan in 1992. Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari proved that talent beats hard work— when the talent comes in the form of seven All-Americans.


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