For most of my grown college basketball experience, the best players have been able to throw up the deuces for the NBA whenever they want, let alone the one-and-done rule.
Fortunately, I am surrounded by great editors who are WAY older than myself, and they explained to me that this is what college was like during this magical time known as the '90s – when good players stayed at schools long enough to love and hate them.
Tonight, we got a lot of that flavor. Did you root for Louisville because of Kevin Ware's injury or Michigan because Rick Pitino did unsanitary things in a restaurant? Big men actually came to play in this game. Guards refused to let their teams lose. Players named Hardaway and Robinson. A young Michigan lost in the National Championship, just like one of the best teams to never win it in college sports history. Pitino won a championship, becoming the first coach to do so at multiple schools – still in the state of Kentucky, nonetheless.
The parallels were one thing. The plays were another.
There was defensive presence.
Heat checks galore.
High flying dunks
And a fulfilling ending.