I’ll start this week’s blog with the same words as last week’s: that was fun. The Midwest Regional in Cleveland gave us one good game, one epic blowout and one that bordered on an all-time classic – and I showed up on local TV in South Bend. What will we get in Indy this weekend? Let’s hope more of the first and third, and less of the middle and the last (to spare the fine folks of Northern Indiana). Whatever happens, history will be made.
Hats off to the Domers
Let’s start off by talking about a team that won’t be in Indianapolis, but deserves so much credit. Mike Brey was 15-17 last year and took his team to the Elite Eight, where Notre Dame battled Kentucky down to the last second. He had a group of kids that you can tell he loved coaching. The first thing he said after the game was he was most disappointed he wouldn’t be practicing with that bunch anymore. What a credit to him. There was not much more Notre Dame could have done to win the game. Kentucky is just too big, too strong and too tough.
On Wisconsin… and Wildcats
Wisconsin will give Kentucky fits and will play them strong to the end, but at the end of the day, I think it will be Kentucky and Duke for the national title, with Kentucky cutting down the nets and making history. Kentucky makes big plays at both ends. Willie Cauley-Stein makes big blocks. It seems like every time they need a bucket the Wildcats get one. When they fall behind, they get a bucket. When they need a defensive stop, someone makes it. They are special, and I hope sports fans enjoy what they are seeing.
From UT to UT
We will talk coaching changes after this week, but I am very happy that Rick Barnes is still in coaching. His 17 years at Texas were filled with success and he is a great person. Tennessee got a winner.
– Bill Frieder
Former Michigan and Arizona State head coach Bill Frieder is an analyst for Westwood One’s coverage of NCAA Basketball. In his weekly blog Boxed Out, Bill scours the box scores to bring you interesting stories from the world of college basketball. He’ll be in Indianapolis as part of our coverage of the Final Four this weekend.