Like most people with any amount of good taste in the early 1990s I grew up rooting against Christian Laettner and those Duke Blue Devil basketball teams. Yet for some reason my interest was peaked when anticipating the new 30 for 30 installment I Hate Christian Laettner.
Maybe it was the 90210 sideburns and haircut he sported that turned me off. Or maybe it was all that winning that Duke did. Whatever it was, the road down memory lane Sunday was a reminder of all the animosity we once shared for a player and program that appeared in four-straight Final Fours and won two national titles.
It’s not one of the better 30 for 30’s, considering the subject matter and that it’s narrated by Rob Lowe, but it’s a worthy look at what made one of the greatest college basketball players so polarizing among fans.
UConn’s improbable run to the NCAA men’s basketball national title was more than a historical feat that wrapped up another March Madness on Monday in front of more than 70,000 spectators in Arlington, Texas.
It was a begrudging battle between right and wrong. Between good and evil. Between overwhelming expectations and equally underwhelming expectations.
While Connecticut became the first 7-seed to ever claim the championship with a 60-54 win over No. 8 Kentucky, college basketball fans went to bed at ease knowing all things in the world of college hoops were briefly back to normal.
UConn head coach Kevin Ollie, in just his second season, outgunned controversial counterpart John Calipari in his first trip to The Dance as the main man in charge.
I’m historically mediocre at filling out March Madness brackets. But I do it ever year, just as I’ve become programed to do over the past three decades. For most sports fans it adds a little more flare to the wild and unpredictable opening rounds of the tournament.
This time I waited until the last minute to fill one out. I wasn’t tempted to wager a single penny on it either, for the first time in years. And then I started to wonder what could have been after watching as my Final Four, and seven of my Elite Eight selections, remained intact entering Thursday and Friday’s Sweet 16.