COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 18: C.J. Williams #21 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts after a play against the Georgetown Hoyas in the first half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
I'd forgotten how great this week is. In my defense, it's only the second time I've ever had the chance to experience it. It's great to be able to relax after the weekend and just soak everything in during the buildup to the next round. That's one of the best things about the NCAA Tournament structure: as Bart Simpson would say, there's only one thing to do at a time like this--strut. I'm taking a walk every day, smiling and shooting a knowing glance at every stranger I see while also firing off finger guns. It's the best. America, I love ya! Looking good! Great shoes!
"These guys had never accomplished anything in college basketball," said [Jim] Harrick, Gottfried’s mentor. "Most guys on scholarship are cocky without being confident. That’s what these guys were. I watched them walk off the floor Sunday, and they were confident without being cocky. I like that. That’s the way you want your players."
The obvious difference is just cohesion. Having a structure, a plan of attack, and the self-assurance that goes with knowing that the strategy is optimal, or something close to it. That fuels the team at both ends of the floor. I don't think I realized how much of that we'd been missing.
It doesn't matter anymore what the odds are; this I do remember from the last time. You start out the tournament and that stuff down the line is just a pipe dream. You get through that first weekend and suddenly the possibilities are endless. There are only 16 teams left. Who knows. Why not?