Even after a much too close win over West Virginia, I've never been so confident in the Cards' ability to beat anyone on any given day.
The games we didn't win (with the exception of UConn) were all remarkably unlikely considering the way we've played when at our best. Even against UConn we were clearly not the same team. But that team has been seen less and less as the year went on and if we get to the Big East title game we'll have a chance to say goodbye to that team once and for all. Personally, I want to face as tough a road as possible, to have a chance to knock down the best of the best along the way:
- I want to face Villanova, and rematch UConn in the BEast Tourny.
- Then I want to get a 2 seed in a UNC bracket so we get a rematch of last year's elite eight.
- I'm hoping Memphis loses in the CUSA tournament and drops to a 3 seed so we get to face them too.
- I'm hoping UK wins the SEC tournament, gets a 10 seed, and faces us in the second round of the NCAAs.
- Then I want Oklahoma in the Final Four, because they can't hang with the big dogs.
- Finally another clash with Pitt in the Championship game.
I want it to be epic and by the time its done I want even Edgar Sosa to be able to lay claim to some manhood. I want E5 to play in games so meaningful that the weight of it drives him to greatness (and he avoids becoming the next Clifford Rozier). I want Terrance Williams' name to ring out triumphantly over the ESPN cubicles. I want a lifetime of experience and wisdom distilled down into one month of glorious basketball so Andre McGee will be more than prepared to become a coach and inspire future Cardinals. I want Rick's Hall of Fame resume to get another emphatic bullet point, cementing his enshrinement as a Cardinal, not a Cat. I want Reece, Cisco, Taquan, Otis, Myles, LarryO, Almost Dunking Marquis Maybin, Dejuan Wheat, Tick Rogers, Rozier, Beau Zach Smith, Labradford Smith, Samaki Walker, Butch Beard, Junior Bridgeman, Pervis, Griff, Charlie Tyra, Milt Wagner, Wes Unseld, and Coach Crum to jump with joy, maybe cry a little, and feel some reflected glory and a little extra pride at having been a part of the process that led to that point.
A Championship by an easier route would be satisfying but this year... I want it all. Is that asking too much?