On Monday the San Diego State University Aztecs will play at the NRG Stadium in Houston for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship against the UConn Huskies.
Putting all my cards on the table here. I have not paid one iota of attention to men’s or women’s college basketball and couldn’t tell you the difference between SDSU’s forward Keshad Johnson or guard Lamont Butler if their names weren’t on the backs of their uniforms. Even more embarrassing, I thought the head coach was still Steve Fisher so when I first saw the name Brian Dutcher, I thought he was one of the players. But the Aztecs in the Final Four and now the NCAA Championship game?
At first when I saw the news that SDSU would be in the Final Four I thought it had to be the National Invitation Tournament, not the NCAA. I still believe getting into either tournament is a worthy accomplishment, especially if your team makes it into the championship game. But, it wasn’t the NIT, it is the NCAA Tournament. This is historic.
Making it through the gauntlet of the NCAA brackets is a pure test of will and endurance. SDSU played five exhausting games to make it into Monday’s championship game, none more exhausting than Saturday’s match up with the Florida Atlantic Owls who led Saturday’s game until the final, buzzer beating shot by Lamont Butler to take a one-point lead and win the game. Talk about dramatic.
It looked like the men from Florida Atlantic were stunned by the result. At one point they led the Aztecs by 14 points. Then San Diego State made their comeback in the second half, chipping away at that lead, setting Butler up for that final shot.
It’s SDSU’s first trip to the NCAA Championship Game, the first time a Mountain West Conference team made it to the championship.
This sorta’ makes me wish I was in Las Vegas right now so I could cozy up to the Caesar’s Palace sports book and lay down a few bets on the championship game. You know the oddsmakers say UConn is the favorite in this one … but they also said Florida Atlantic was the favorite in Saturday’s game. Okay, I just watched the talking heads of ABC’s NCAA Final Four broadcast team all pick UConn to win it Monday night. Somebody has to speak up for the Aztecs so it might as well be me.
Okay … you read it here first: San Diego State University wins the NCAA championship over UConn the same way they won their games in the last two rounds — by one point. A classic nail biter. If the Aztecs pull it off it will be like the Men’s Team USA Hockey defeating the Men’s USSR Hockey at Lake Placid, New York in the 1980 Winter Olympics, the Miracle On Ice. Could this be another miracle?
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.