Unless you had a rooting interest in the North Carolina Tarheels, gambling or otherwise, you probably would have liked to see Gonzaga win the title game on Monday night. It would have been a great story. The long-time Cinderella finally getting over the hump with a team full of players that seemed full of life and ready to take on any challenger. Well, we can’t have nice things. North Carolina is not only the title winner we received. It’s the title winner we deserved. We deserved a smug, unlikable Roy Williams, and a blue blood program under NCAA investigation taking home the sport’s most prized possession. We deserved to see the Cobra Kai win and rub all of our collective noses in the fact that the little guys only get to sniff the title.
Remember Butler? The tournament darlings two years in a row that were able to get to the title game only to have national powers in Duke and Connecticut take them out? Remember all the excitement of watching new teams like South Carolina and Oregon make the final four this year along with the two title game participants? And to top it all off, who walks away victorious but the team making their eleventh title game appearance.
In a world where we want to see the superstar and not the team, where we want the face and not the work behind the face, where we value star power over chemistry, we got what we deserved. Yes, North Carolina played well as a team on Monday night, but they were more a collection of stars around Justin Jackson than a real team like you see out of the “mid-major” schools.
The NCAA tournament was like a buffet of incredible choices this year. An incredible amount of teams were in the tournament this year that had not been but one year ago. The Final Four was a continuation of that exotic buffet. With all those exotic food choices though, what were we left with at the end?
Exactly what we deserved.
A bologna sandwich.