And just like that, my night turned from wonderfully pleasant to terribly disappointing. Of course, the fact that Duke is no longer in the tournament should render the subsequent letdowns unimportant, but these were no common letdowns.
West Virginia valiantly fought their way back into the game and just when overtime seemed inevitable, Texas reached into the bottom of their rucksack and brought out a scalding hot knife. The only consolation here is that I like Texas, but something about West Virginia makes me want to root for them. I think it's their overall sharpness and high basketball IQ. But, alas, Austin was too strong. As impressive as LSU was tonight, I would be shocked if Texas doesn't win on Saturday. Oh, did I forget to mention that I had WVU going to the Final Four? Whoops!
But then came the absolute stomach punch of the night. When Batista got the ball stolen from him and UCLA hit the layup, my entire body started tingling. It was one of those hyper-dramatized moments when the world completely turns upside down in the fraction of a second. Fortunately, this doesn't happen often in life, because I don't think I could handle it if it did. Whatever excuses one wants to make, the fact remains that Gonzaga choked. They had the game wrapped up and they didn't close it out. Now their season is done. Speaking of done, did I forget to mention that I had Gonzaga winning the National Championship? Double whoops!
One last thing. I'm sure there are those of you out there who see Adam Morrison crying and want to laugh or mock him, but all I can say to you is that your lives are less complete if you've never played a game and lost and felt like your entire world has collapsed. I know that those individuals who mock the pointlessness of sports are simply cursed with poor hand-eye coordination and lack the ability to perform basic athletic functions, and I'm not holding that against you. But all I can say is that instead of smirking at Morrison's tears, you should consider the absolute heartbreak that these kids are feeling and think about the last time you felt so viscerally devastated. Or perhaps you can't remember because it's been so long. Which is infinitely sadder than watching a bunch of athletes cry.