final-four-2011

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VCU coach Shaka Smart does the ironman drill in preparation for his team’s appearance in the 2011 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

This was AWESOME.

Can I just take a second to say that my boys are in the FINAL FOUR! I have contained my excitement for too long. Despite the fact that I am in Europe, my dedication has been unwavering. I stayed up for the Ohio State game last Friday (it was on from 2:30am - 5am here), and for the UNC regional final on Sunday. 

Let me just say this was not the team I expected to go to the Final Four. Last year when it seemed as though we were poised to make it there. Mom and I were looking into tickets in nearby Indianapolis. However, our young team showed their age and, for lack of a better term, choked, in the Elite Eight against WVU. The Draft Cats, as they are apparently called couldn’t quite finish out their college run, and headed to the NBA.

This years team is the team no one expected out of Kentucky, especially after top recruit Enes Kanter was ruled ineligible by the NCAA. And early in the season, they didn’t seem to be doing anything too special. But when tournament time came around they really came together. And I think John Calipari should note, that this team isn’t successful due only to its immensely talented freshmen, but largely due to the hold-overs from the Gillespie era, juniors Deandre Liggins and Darius Miller, and senior Josh Harrelson, who really stepped up his game in the absence of Kanter. 

Without those upperclassmen, this team wouldn’t be in the final four. And despite Calipari’s fantastic recruiting classes, it was Josh Harrelson who carried off the East Regional Championship trophy with the winning net around his neck. Cal might want to make a note.

As a Cat’s fan I love having talented players, but I’d love to have them for you know…two years, maybe three, I’m not gonna bank on four, but if they feel like staying i’m not going to stop them. You need experience on a winning team as much as you need talent. And this team has the perfect balance of that. 

This has been a basketball post. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming of nerdy things. 

#Nerds like sports too