FanPost

9: The Path to Repeating a National Championship

Tonight we leap forward, not just an hour, but into March.

Saturdays Senior Day win over UCONN is just the start of our journey this year, as it was last year with our win over Norte Dame.

After the Norte Dame game our coach, Rick Pitino, wrote down one thing:

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9 Games.

Its simplicity and elegance is rare in the beautiful game of basketball, and here we are again. We're standing at the edge, about to take our plunge into March Madness. We all share in the brilliance: Silentl L's, #RussMoments, Henderson Heroics, listening on repeat to tmjoel01's playlists, SVT's placidness, Cool Hand Luke, CCBM's on CBS, Monster Dunks, Ally-oops, Highfives, and-ones; dancing down Third Street singing "I fell in love in a Gorgui Place;" students descending onto Cardinal Boulevard to celebrate. But we also share the heart break, gut wrenching, screaming, anxiety, head-scratching, constant questioning of decisions made by college student-athletes; Anger inducing foul calls, panic-attacks, iIll-advised "hide-in-the-basement-til' its over" breaks.

Outside of Louisville: We will make asses of ourselves in public, screaming, crying; staring at the TV screen into the abyss should the worst happen. In Louisville: our behavior is only slightly more acceptable when at a Buffalo Wild Wings or other sports bar of choosing. In private: our significant others, coworkers and friends question our sanity as we fill out bracket after bracket and check CC frequently enough to be considered an addiction.

To those fortunate enough to go to games: traveling, emotion, family; getting lost in yourself while visiting New Orleans, Atlanta, San Antonio, and Lexington; building bonds between friends, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, grandparents and strangers to last a lifetime; falling in love with the pageantry, your team and maybe someone else who shares your fanaticism.

March is a wild ride, but amongst the crazy, irrational, flat-out-madness we have one thing - a number.

9 Games.

That is the number that separates us from repeating as a National Champion.

Last year, after the first win of the Big East Tournament I made a simple Facebook Banner: Road to the National Championship. It took on a life of its own. At the time I made it, it was a bit of a gamble, as well as being a little selfish: I wanted to have a little fun on my own. I really didn't care what happened, but that changed when people that I didn't know, and others that had nothing to do with this site were using it, supporting our team. I was afraid to stop, to jinx the team and then be forced to blame myself for the loss. This year, because I'm pathological, I intend to do the same. While I'll be on vacation for the AAC tournament I'm handing over the duties to a very capable temporary replacement.

I believe, and I hope others do, that this is a real possibility. I'm probably a little crazy, paranoid, obsessive - but we all are this time of year. Its March - and its ok. We believe and thats all that matters.

9 Games.

Welcome to March, fellow 'Cloids.

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