Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What If Verbal Kint And Dave Kujan Just Died Of Brain Aneurysms?

Well if that happened we'd probably all be a bit frustrated because it would be just about the least satisfying ending to a great movie we could possibly imagine -- short of the two of them just hugging for a few minutes. No Keyser Soze, no Kobayashi, no Dean Keaton. The Usual Suspects is just a big fat dud at the end.

That would totally suck.

I bring this up because that's pretty much what we got last night with Duke's victory in the NCAA National Championship Game. Don't get me wrong. The game was phenomenal the whole way through, and Butler proved they belonged on the national stage, but after one of the greatest tournaments in recent memory, the team that wound up cutting down the nets was the one team that absolutely no one wanted to see win. And that leaves a profoundly unsatisfying taste in the mouths of just about everyone who doesn't live in Durham, North Carolina.

And it's quite a shame that we lost what could have been the most appropriate ending to such a wild month of basketball when Gordon Hayward heaved up a potential game-winner three-pointer from half court and it clanged off the rim at the buzzer. We were this close to getting what we wanted -- a moment in college basketball that would have been talked about and replayed for decades -- a small school in its home town knocking off mighty Duke University for the National Championship with a buzzer-beater.

Alas, it was not meant to be, and all we have to remember it by is an incredibly lame game story by whomever was writing it for the AP. He actually writes "What a game!" in the story. Good lord.

It is difficult to know that Butler had not one but two chances to take the lead in the final 30 seconds, but in the end, a great game at the end of a phenomenal tournament isn't all that bad. And with the impending expansion of the tournament to 96 teams next year, this isn't the only shining moment college basketball has had, but it may be the last.

In other news, some of you might have noticed that the Mets opened the season yesterday with a solid 7-1 victory over Florida. The game was actually quite taut most of the way until three errors by the defensively inept Marlins opened the floodgates in a four-run sixth inning for New York. Prior to that, Johan Santana and Josh Johnson had been locked up in a tight pitchers duel, with David Wright's first-inning home run providing the only difference.  Eventually the Mets would pull away for the comfortable win, continuing their remarkable record of winning on Opening Day.

Now comes the hard part. Playing the other 161 games. With that pitching staff it won't be easy.

As one of my favorite teams begins its season another's regular season is ending. New Jersey is hardly done. Even if they get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs they'll still be playing until late April. Hopefully they'll be around until June. Either way, the next step in the Devils' close race for the Atlantic Division title with Pittsburgh comes tonight in Atlanta, where Ilya Kovalchuk will make his first appearance since the Thrashers dealt him to New Jersey in February.

While that is the big story, however, what may eventually be the biggest is that a win for Martin Brodeur will make him the first ever member of the 600 win club.

A few years ago, when Brodeur had won his 400th game, I did a brief extrapolation to examine how many wins he would wind up with at his current pace. I assumed some things would slow him down, age and perhaps his triceps injury last year among them. But I had found Brodeur could wind up with as many as 700 wins. I never expected that to happen, but with 600 on the horizon, and Brodeur still winning 40 games a year, with perhaps three seasons left in him, well, it doesn't seem quite so far-fetched.

And given that the most anyone else has ever won is 551 games, well, it's mighty impressive. Here's hoping he crosses that next milestone tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment