You can’t spell W-E-S-T without W-E so let’s just log split-it out: W-E did it. Well, they did it, but not without the Birkenstock backing of left-leaners who unabashedly cheered, not so much for players or coaches, but for a geographical region. Rankman Inc. put all his stock in west-coast NCAA teams this year, knowing full well no school near the Pacific Rim had touched a Final Four rim since UCLA in 2008. No school from the West has won the NCAA title since Arizona in 1997, so projecting three teams to this year’s Final Four seemed like a Dick Fosbury flop waiting to happen. Except, if you remember Fosbury, you know he was a mold-breaking Olympic high jumper from …Oregon. (Ok, Fosbury attended Oregon State, not Oregon, but he was close enough to go on a mile run to Eugene.) Sometimes, in life, you just have raise the bar and leap over it backward. To paraphrase the poet Robert Browning, “Rankman’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a hoop heaven for?” So, two Sundays ago, we took a flying leap and postulated a Final Four of Villanova, Gonzaga, UCLA and Oregon. Two out of four isn’t bad, Gonzaga and Oregon, especially when you consider this marks the first time two teams from the Pacific Time zone have EVER shared the same Final Four. First, it is important...Read More
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