It was a strange season in which we were told the Big East was the greatest conference in the history of earth, yet the conference only sent two of 11 teams into the Sweet 16.
It was a year the SEC made a comeback in terms of its national image, yet saw three of five teams ousted in round one.
Of course there was a typical coaching carousel with odd hiring decisions and the hot coaches choosing to stay put and a whole lot more.
Butt-ugly final ---- Only a UConn fan could consider the NCAA title game anything more than an eyesore. The Huskies shot 34 percent from the field and made 1-of-11 three point shots --- and WON. Butler somehow managed to make just 12-0f-64 shots during the 40 minutes of hell the rest of us suffered through. Highly touted star guards Kemba Walker and Shelvin Mack combined to make 9-of-34.
Gator season memorable ---- The Florida Gators ended up winning 29 games in one of the best seasons in school history. Florida won the SEC Title and reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA. Only two other Gator teams ever accomplished both things in the same year (2000, 2007). Still Gator Nation had to watch Butler in the final and keep questioning, "How the hell did we lose to those guys?"
Jimmer Mania ---- BYU scoring sensation Jimmer Fredette was a deserving choice for the National Player of the Year, but he may never forgive Kenny Boynton for the defensive job the Florida sophomore did on him in their matchup. Florida forced Fredette into a miserable shooting game that had NBA scouts questioning his game more than ever before. That could end up costing the "Player of the Year" a fortune.
Kruger good fit @ Oklahoma ---- Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione made a solid choice in luring Lon Kruger from UNLV to Norman. Kruger is as clean as they come and will give an oft-confused program some direction and leadership. Kruger has a chance to make history in what is likely his last coaching stop. He could become the first coach in NCAA history to guide five programs into the NCAA Tournament. Kruger inherits a team that went 14-18 last year highlighted (low lighted?) by an eight-game losing streak. The Sooners will return six of the top seven scorers from last year but lose leading scorer (14.5) Cade Davis. Kruger's first job will be to hold on to the commitment of JUCO All American big man Robert Goff.
Frank Haith? Really? ---- Missouri tried like the devil to hold on to coach Mike Anderson but he left for Arkansas. They did everything they could to lure Matt Painter to the Midwest, but he re-upped with Purdue. So they end up with Miami coach Frank Haith. Haith spent seven seasons at "The-U" and managed one NCAA bid. He was 43-69 in ACC games. Missouri is banking on Haith's roots recruiting for Texas helping him bring in better talent than he could get in Coral Gables. Good luck with that.
Saluting Kentucky ---- I was in Lexington Saturday and it was amazing to experience all the excitement about the Wildcats' trip to the Final Four. Just about every Radio and TV commercial ended with "Go ‘Cats" or "Go Big Blue". The newspaper had 22 pages of coverage and there were signs everywhere. For what it's worth the sense I get is that Kentucky doesn't view Florida as a rival for SEC Basketball supremacy. More like an annoying little brother.
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