Sunday, March 28, 2010

Elite 8

I can't remember a day that has been this important for two of my favorite sports teams. At 4pm Duke tries to make it back to the Final Four for the first time since 2004. This Duke team isn't as talented as other Duke teams (including probably last year's team), but that doesn't mean they aren't a better team. Also, it doesn't mean that as of now they might be the *favorite to win it all. All along I have been hesitant to embrace this Duke team because I always thought next year would be their year. The peak of this year's team always seemed to be the Elite 8. Now they have reached that level and are a win a way of exceeding my expectations. I don't expect it to happen because Baylor is a very good team and they are playing a practical home game. I saw this game coming when the brackets were announced and at the time I picked Baylor to win. I still think that will happen, but of course I am holding out hope that I was wrong for picking Baylor and wrong for underestimating this Duke team.

*Right now I would consider West Virginia to be the favorite though.

Then after that game I think I will be heading over to a bar to watch the Miami University Redhawks compete against Michigan for a spot in the Frozen Four. Yes, that means two of my favorite teams are playing today for a spot in the Final/Frozen Four. You already are probably well aware of how much I want Duke to win, but Miami's victory would almost be a nice. After last's year epic collapse in the championship game I have been cheering on Miami during this season of redemption. They have played well all year and are the #1 ranked team heading into the tournament. They beat Alabama-Huntsville yesterday and now are just one more win away from going to the Frozen Four. I am trying not to get too excited since hockey is one of the toughest sports to predict (example - RIT making it to the Frozen Four this year or Bemidji St/Miami making it to the Frozen Four last year), but I really feel like this is the year for Miami. They have two incredible goaltenders and they seemed primed to deliver Miami's first national title back to Oxford.

To recap I am predicting Miami to win and Duke to lose. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the other way around or if both teams won or loss. In fact I would imagine the odds would be 25% both teams win, 25% both teams lose, 25% Duke/Miami wins and 25% Duke/Miami lose. I have already brought up the word redemption in this post and really that is what today represents for Duke and Miami. For Duke they are trying for redemption from previous tournament failures and for having to watch the Tar Heels cut down the nets in Detroit last year. Scheyer is trying to add his name to the list of senior leaders that have led Duke to the Final Four. Zoubek is trying to continue his year long redemption of someone who after 3 unproductive years is finally putting it all together in his last year. For Miami I already wrote about how they are trying for redemption from last year's bitter ending. With the many uses of the word redemption there isn't much more to do than leave you with a quote from The Shawshank Redemption:

"Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things." - Andy Dufresne

No comments: