Tar Heels stomp

Well, it was fun to dream for a couple days ...

You may remember I went out on a limb and picked Michigan State to win the National Championship, one of two people to do so in our office pool ...

So when Michigan State hung a comfortable lead on Connecticut Saturday night, got the Detroit crowd roaring and advanced to the championship game, I too was believing the Spartans were a team of destiny ...

After Saturday's game I flipped on my computer and checked the office pool standings. There, at the top was my name in a bright, shiny blue hyperlink to what I figured was sure to be my winning bracket. The Spartans advance had given me a solid 200 points. That was my one shining moment.

A couple hours later, North Carolina had beaten up on Villanova to set up the Tar Heels-Spartans Monday night match. And I had fallen back to 10th place in the office pool, behind nine people who picked North Carolina to win it all, including Phoebe and my mother. For the record there were 71 entries in our pool this year.

Prior to the championship game, our pool master dispatched a message announcing that if North Carolina won, a mom-to-be would win our pool. If Michigan State won, new dad, me, would win our pool. "No matter who wins," he said, "the money will probably be spent on diapers."

Never mind Michigan State was headed for a Tar Heel blue wall of Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough ... That team was on a mission to avenge the beating they got from the Jayhawks in the Final Four last year -- which was really fun to watch, by the way -- and Hansbrough wasn't heading to the NBA without winning a national championship first.

With the Spartans down 55-34 at halftime, somehow I held to hope that Michigan State would step it up, take care of the ball and make a run in the second half ... But the mistakes continued, and we shut down our party a few minutes into the second half. We went to bed and didn't bother staying up to watch the blue and gold confetti flying at the end.

Our office pool ended up going to the mom-to-be, and I finished in 17th place, out of contention for any earnings and behind the 16 people who picked North Carolina to win it all. Phoebe finished in fifth place, just four points out of the money; my mother finished in seventh.

Speaking of Hansbrough ... It was something special to watch him play the last few years. Period. ... On Sportscenter this morning I overheard one analyst call him one of greatest college basketball players ever; I have to agree.

Some other good reads from March Madness ...
a Ride Ends for Spartans as Tar Heels Coast to Title
a Tar Heels' unquestioned shining moment comes courtesy of Lawson
a Winn: Unfazed Tar Heels become unstoppable force
a North Carolina returns to Final Four -- as expected
a Mr. Cool's March Madness

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