This is the Morning Win. Charles Curtis is filling in for Andy Nesbitt.
Let me kick this off by saying I’m as casual of a college basketball fan as there could be. I didn’t go to a big Division I school (shoutout to Haverford College). I don’t pay much attention until the NCAA tournament when I rank the mascots and nicknames every year.
But I can safely say that I’m rooting for Gonzaga to win it all, and I’m hoping to convince you of the same.
Yes, there are other good storylines. There’s No. 6 seed USC going to the Elite Eight. This year’s Cinderella is 12th-seeded Oregon State and a UCLA team that won a First Four game in overtime and rode that momentum all the way to here. Baylor is also a No. 1 seed who hasn’t won a national championship. Apologies in advance to Michigan die-hards.
But I’m all in on the Bulldogs.
This was once “THE SLIPPER STILL FITS!” program, who became everyone’s upset favorites as low seeds throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s under Mark Few.
And then, they became a powerhouse, getting No. 1 and 2 seeds getting far — they fell to Duke in the Elite Eight in 2015. They came up just short in the 2017 title game against North Carolina. They lost to Texas Tech in 2019.
Yes, I know. They’re probably the best team in this tournament and rooting for a favorite feels super weird. But this is such a likeable team! There’s Drew Timme and his stache. There’s Corey Kispert hitting from wayyyy deep. There’s the unlimited athleticism from Jalen Suggs, who makes it all look so easy and will likely do so in the NBA in the near future. When any of those stars struggle, the team adjusts.
It would be a truly, er, fairytale ending to see the Bulldogs finally win a national title. We should all root for that to happen.
Quick hits: Kevin Durant tweets again … Jim Boeheim continues to be cranky … a five-overtime hockey game!
— Kevin Durant continues to be the best on Twitter.
— As our Chris Korman writes, Syracuse legend Jim Boeheim continues to be cranky in response to questions.
— Minnesota Duluth reached the Frozen Four by winning in FIVE overtimes!
— P.J. Washington played 44 minutes and didn’t total a single point. Yikes.
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