I must admit, when discussing the Big East tournament bracket with my Mom (we're headed to MSG for the tournament this year), I told her that after one more game (Gtown/Nova) we'd be able to go ahead and buy the tickets. "Go for the Thursday night set of tickets," I said. "The two and three seeds play at night. There's no way we drop down to fourth, but at this point Georgetown is too hot and there's no way we get the one seed." Granted I did tell her to wait a game, but it's a good thing she doesn't listen to me.
Georgetown was coming off an 11 game win streak, including victories over Louisville, Syracuse, DePaul and Marquette. Otto Porter has earned a mention in every conversation of national PoY and has practically locked in his BE PoY status. Nobody gets on fire like Georgetown has and just drops the last two games of the season. My claim was not absurd.
What I did not anticipate was for the Wells Fargo Center to produce another toppling of a top 5 team (it was the third time this season along with UL and Cuse), not only guaranteeing an at-large bid for the the Wildcats in the NCAA tournament but also (let's be honest, more importantly) to bring the Hoyas down a peg into a two-way tie with the Louisville Cardinals for first place in the Big East.
Sure, the Hoyas always had a chance to lose to Syracuse, but the Wildcats? Surely G-town wouldn't overlook the giant-killers of the Big East this season and they'd bring their A-game to town. I didn't think my advice to my mother was coming from pessimism, simply realism; turns out not only am I a bad fan, but if you follow my advice you're going to lose a lot of money. Good thing the only person as stubborn as me is my mom.
So... It has come to this. #5 Georgetown has a massive showdown on Saturday with the 17th ranked Syracuse Orange, and your Louisville Cardinals look for redemption against a Notre Dame squad that handed us a loss none of us will ever be able to forget. To say that any outcome is possible is a complete understatement; the Cuse are highly underrated at #17, and Notre Dame... well, let's not revisit anything, but they have beat us once before. The final season of the greatest conference in college basketball has handed us one of the finest narratives yet that will culminate in one of several ways:
- Louisville wins, Georgetown loses. The three-loss streak that occurred earlier this year evaporates without a trace as if it never happened, dogs and cats are making out in the streets, and my sobriety takes a long hiatus as Cards fans across the globe celebrate worldwide at having wrestled the great Big East title as we know it for the last time. We head into the Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple, CCBM's in hand, and buckle down for what lies ahead.
- Louisville wins, Georgetown wins. The teams tie for first but Louisville retains its two seed , the one seed being granted to Georgetown due to the loss earlier in the season. The Cards have a chip on their shoulder walking into MSG. Not a terrible scenario, but not quite as satisfactory.
- Louisville loses, Georgetown wins. Not a favorable outcome. G-town of course gets the one seed, and depending on whether or not Marquette wins against St. Johns on the same day, we could be looking at a 3 seed but no worse.
Georgetown/Cuse at noon. Marquette/SJU at 2:00. Ville/ND at 4:00. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a full weekend ahead of us. To our great fortune the Georgetown game will be done long before Louisville takes the court, so if G-town can't take care of business at home the Notre Dame Senior Night game we have in front of us will grow exponentially in drama and excitement.
I'm assuming that because the Yum! Center is brand-spanking new, it has been reinforced several times over to account for exploding fandom; if not, bring a hard-hat. The house will come down if the stars align and your Louisville Cardinals teach the Irish a thing or two about closing out games this time around.
Keep calm. Go Cards. One more year of Gorgui.