There is really no other time like now, during a college basketball season. The excitement and competitive nature of March Madness is unlike any other moment during the five month regular season schedule.
It's a mixture of heartache and euphoria all wrapped into one. Win or go home is the theme of the month. And for the lucky ones, it's the moment where dreams become reality...
Flan shared an interesting story with our team before the start of practice yesterday. He touched on the fact that this time last season, the Nebraska women's basketball team was 29-0 heading into the Big 12 conference tournament after recording the first perfect regular season in Big 12 Conference history with a 29-0 record, including a 16-0 league mark.
The Huskers were the obvious favorite to win the Big 12 tournament title and were locked in as the No. 1 seed on their way to Kansas City this time last season. Surprisingly, Nebraska failed to make it to the Big 12 tournament championship after suffering an 80-70 loss to Texas A&M in the semi-final round.
Two weeks later, their historic season came to an end with a 76-67 loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Kansas City regional semi-final at the Sprint Center. While everyone around the country may have thought Connie Yori and her basketball team were the obvious pick to represent the Big 12 at the 2010 Final Four in San Antonio, the Huskers watched the game from home like everyone else while two other Big 12 teams- Baylor and Oklahoma - kept their National Championship hopes alive playing in Texas.
He then went on to share that last season in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, the top-seeded Illinois State Redbirds lost in the semi-final round to Northern Iowa who was seeded fifth. I'm sure everyone connected with our basketball program knows the Panthers earned two upsets that weekend to earn their automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
And remember 2009? The No. 8 seeded Evansville won four games in a row to capture the MVC tournament championship crown. So, believe it or not folks, history has shown that the top seed in the conference tournament (especially in the Missouri Valley Conference) is not always the guaranteed winner.
I'm not really sure if I can say this in my blog, but I'll say it anyway: seeding doesn't mean S#%T this time of year. There are so many more intangibles that come into play as opposed to just any other game throughout the regular season.
So, for those of you that have any doubts about our teams chances of winning the 2011 tournament title after the rough two weeks we've had, I hope you really understand the message above. What happened a week ago has no relevance on Friday afternoon inside Family Arena. It's a whole new season and a whole new ball game.
I actually kind of like the idea of people underestimating us for once. Who knows, maybe being the underdog is just what we need to get three wins in St. Charles for the first time in school history?!
Our three seniors were in charge of designing t-shirts to wear this weekend and had the following quote printed on the back: "Don't dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, but concentrate the mind on the present moment."
I couldn't have said it better myself...
Watch out for the Jays this weekend and enjoy the madness!