For better or worse the 2007 NCAA Tournament is now officially a thing of the past. Obviously it was far from the most memorable Big Dance of all-time, but the end of college basketball is always a passing worthy of a proper send-off.
So here are your 2007 NCAA Tournament award recipients:
Best Game: Georgetown 96, North Carolina 84 (OT)
Duke/VCU, Xavier/BYU, Ohio State/Xavier and Pitt/VCU all have a legitimate gripe here, but this was for a spot in the Final Four, and despite the relatively lopsided final score it was a game that was extremely exciting in the last two minutes of regulation.
My favorite game that didn't get all that much attention was Oregon/Miami (OH) in the first round. Oregon had just blitzed through the Pac-10 tourney and Miami was still riding the wave of a buzzer-beating banked three-pointer, and gave the Ducks all they could handle. A meaningless halfcourt shot at the final horn was also pretty cool...so was whip-around Oregon cheerleader.
Worst Game: Vanderbilt 77, George Washington 44
The dreaded curse of the first day 5 p.m. game lived on as the Commodores pounded the Colonials in a game that forced even the most avid college basketball fan to see what was on Comedy Central.
Most Surprising Team: Vanderbilt
I had Vandy at #3 in my most overseeded teams list, but Kevin Stallings' troops responded (as they always do when an obscure college sports blog calls them out) by pounding GW, upsetting Washington State, and coming within a correct traveling call of knocking out eventual national semifinalist Georgetown.
Most Disappointing Team: Texas
All that hype and then they looked almost disinterested against New Mexico State and even worse against USC. Please God let Rick Barnes go to Kentucky.
All-Tournament: First Team
Corey Brewer, Florida
Al Horford, Florida
Mike Conley Jr., Ohio State
Arron Afflalo, UCLA
Greg Oden, Ohio State
All-Tournament: Second Team
Aaron Brooks, Oregon
Nick Young, USC
Lee Humphrey, Florida
Roy Hibbert, Georgetown
Chris Lofton, Tennessee
All-Tournament: Third Team
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
Eric Maynor, VCU
Edgar Sosa, Louisville
Tajuan Porter, Oregon
Ron Lewis, Ohio State
Best Coach: Billy Donovan, Florida
The Kid's won as many national championships in 366 days as Dean Smith did in 42 years.
Worst Coach: Bruce Pearl, Tennessee
The Vols had a ridiculously easy draw with an overmatched and overseeded Long Beach State team in the first round, and then a similarly overseeded Virginia squad in the second being the only two teams standing between them and a rematch with an Ohio State team they had nearly beaten a few weeks prior. UT predictably advanced to the Sweet 16 and then just as predictably choked in the regional semis.
As a 20-point lead evaporated Pearl did nothing but stand on the sidelines with that shit-faced grin that says "I know we're going to lose and it doesn't bother me because these players just aren't doing what I taught them." If you can't call a timeout in the last minute to tell your mentally unstable guards that they need to get the ball to Chris Lofton (who is 197-for-197 from the field all-time in the last minute of games), then you deserve to lose.
When We Think About This Tournament We Will Always Remember: Florida Repeating
Sure Greg Oden's championship performance will be remembered, especially if he becomes a legend in the NBA, and Eric Maynor's shot will be remembered because people hate Duke, but repeating as national champion is a special thing and that's what the 2007 NCAA Tournament will always be remembered for.