NEW YORK CITY- The Elite Eight. Reaching that pinnacle is an exemplary achievement. On the other side, after it is played out, it leaves the team on the short end with an unfair feeling of dejection. At stake is a trip to college basketball’s last weekend. The Final Four. The ultimate.
Sunday saw an Elite Eight matchup at Madison Square Garden. Not just a matchup, but as it turned out, one they will discuss and remember for quite some time.
The NCAA tournament was missing from the ‘world’s most famous arena’ for over half a century. The regionals returned this weekend, and what a show it was.
The final call, so to speak, was a classic between UCONN and Michigan State, a contest that electrified the Garden crowd and a national television audience. As it turned out, this was a forty-minute battle, flowing with drama, heroics, and simply, a game that was meant for this hallowed shrine of basketball.
In the end, UCONN advanced by virtue of their 60-54 victory. Michigan State went home. Throughout this tournament, there have been numerous games where it was unfair to label the team on the short end the ‘loser.’ This was certainly one of them.
Someone had to advance and the other call it a season. Maybe that’s what they meant when they called March the ‘cruelest month.’ On this New York afternoon, both teams received the well-deserved admiration for putting it all out there in a game worthy of being contested on the Garden floor.
Even Knick fans would not be interested on this day:
Michigan State exits the floor after pregame warmups: