(Picture: New York Daily News).
As was widely expected, Kentucky won college basketball's National Championship on Monday night, overpowering Kansas 67-59. Kentucky now owns eight overall NCAA Championships in men's basketball. Interestingly, controversial head coach John Calipari got his first NCAA Championship by leading the "blue blood" Wildcats past Bill Self's "blue blood" Kansas Jayhawks (Kansas and Kentucky--along with North Carolina, Duke, Indiana and UCLA--are frequently referred to as college basketball "blue bloods" because, like the old East Coast WASP blue blood elites who dominated the American institutions of yesteryear, they're the privileged, elite ruling class of college basketball). In 2008, Calipari's Memphis Tigers narrowly lost in the NCAA Championship game to Kansas and Self.
Drive and Dish editors were at a wedding when the Final Four games were played on Saturday. As such, we missed Kentucky's win over Louisville, and only managed to catch the last ten minutes of Kansas' win over Ohio State. Our editors got off a plane and only returned to the Drive and Dish viewing room in time to catch the second half of Monday night's Championship game. So we don't have much to say about the game itself.
We do, however, think that college basketball is very watered down these days, and although we would have preferred to have been able to watch the Final Four, we weren't particularly thrilled about the prospect of watching Kansas and Kentucky in the Championship game. John Calipari has put together an impressive assortment of NBA-ready talent on each of his three Kentucky teams (Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky in 2009). But the main players on his teams only stick around college for one year before they bounce to the NBA. Thus, watching Kentucky has more or less become akin to watching the NBA Rising Stars Challenge.
Sorry, but it's just hard to get excited about that. We'd be hard-pressed to disagree with the following commentary from the Washington Post/Bloomberg News:
In a very real sense, the ending of this game and this season was a microcosm of what college basketball is in 2012. As soon as the final buzzer sounded, the Super Dome was filled with sound, not from celebrating fans, but from the Hollywood-like pyrotechnics the NCAA insists on bombarding people with in its attempts to glitz up an event that doesn't need to be glitzed up.
Nowadays, though, all the sound and noise fits because the national title game has the feel of an NBA all-star game, and most of the players who make it to the Final Four dream first of that game and the billboards and shoe deals that come with it rather than the game Kentucky won on Monday night.
Perhaps it is time for the NCAA to change it's cheesy post-championship theme song. Instead of "One Shining Moment," a new song: "One Moment and Done," words and music by Calipari, might be more fitting.