The clock read 4:48pm when I wrung the last vile droplet of the St. Joseph's loss from my skin and clothes. Like the sweat that clings sheets to skin when you wake up burning hot at 3am, that loss was discomforting. I like championships, and we were so very close.
VCU was there, right there–a 48-42 lead and burgeoning momentum put the thought of "where's the scissors" into your mind. You can admit that. However a frustrating dry spell followed that lead, and give the Hawks credit for seizing the opportunity and making the plays they needed to win the A10 championship. I offer them honest congratulations, even though I lost six months off the end of my life in doing so.
It's important to note that I captured all that frustration, all that hope, and all that sodamnclose and put it in a jar. I could've tossed it off the Verrazano Bridge and into the water below. The stench would sunk to the bottom and never reared its pointy fingers. But I didn't. I pulled out a Sharpie and labeled that jar of motivation.
Open on November 1.
We can't go back and change one thing about Sunday's heartbreaker. There is no salve for what we all saw, so there's no point in digging into the particulars. Honestly, it serves no purpose. Besides, we have this thing they call the NCAA Tournament in front of us. I hear it's pretty big.
This is the first of many check-ins as we lead up to Friday's tip. I plan much more encompassing coverage, which will lead to more frequent but probably shorter entries. Stick around.
VCU earned a five seed for the second straight season–give yourself some time today to appreciate that–and will travel to San Diego. The Rams face Southland Conference champions Stephen F. Austin.
Here's what I will put in front of you: in the hours I've been alert since making it home, I've heard a lot of national folks and local folks offering hearty love to Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks have won 28 games in a row. Played Texas essentially to a draw before losing late. Feature a bevy of shooters. Face VCU in the vaunted 5/12 game. Some say this is a bad draw for VCU. To this I have one question:
What do you think of Stephen F. Austin's draw?