Back to March 2003. A more confusing time. There was that whole Iraq thing. And anyone who said anything bad about that was a terrorist. So yeah. Confusing times.
So one would dive headlong into the basketball. After all, my high school had made the state tournament. Both Wisconsin and Marquette were looking frisky. And they were in the same bracket!
And hey, the Badgers held off their scrappy undersized opponent in the first round. And wonder of wonders, they got to avoid the Atlantic 10 Champions in favor of a Mid-Major who buzzbombed them. It’s supposed to be an easy win right?
13th seeded Tulsa played 36 minutes of destructive basketball, it got to the point where they pulled away from the game in Wisconsin. But the 5th seeded Badgers got off the deck and came back to win. The reward? The universally regarded #1 team alive in the tournament. Your Kentucky Wildcats. The Badgers were game, but Kentucky’s talent level showed up when it counted.
It’s kind of a bizarro scenario for 20-0-10. The underseeded mid-major? 12th seeded Cornell who buzzbombed the A-10 Champ (Temple). The Badgers had a little (lot) more trouble with Wofford, but that’s another W-Team they held off. And the winner? The winner is going to get Kentucky. The best team still alive (seeding wise).
And unlike Tulsa? Many Badger fans are scared of Cornell.
Then again? Bo Ryan is playing a metagame. Survive, advance, and shock the fuck out of Kentucky.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.