Cinderella, where are you?

Written by Barrett Henderson, The Observer March 30, 2009 02:49 pm
I’m not sure when the clock struck midnight exactly this year. Maybe it was when Cleveland State and Siena had their miracle runs end after only two games.

Maybe it was when Utah State and Virginia Commonwealth had their shoe-in upsets taken away in the first round.

In my opinion Cinderella was never invited to this year’s big dance.

In this tournament’s mass uncertainty two things are evident. One is that I know nothing about this field and two is this was the year of the “big dogs.”

However dull it may be, if you were supposed to win, you most likely did. If you picked your bracket by selcting the higher seeds to win, you most likely did very well.

I always like to throw in upsets and after watching the selection show, I thought this was the year.

Not only did I pick Utah State to go into the Sweet 16, I had North Dakota State shocking Kansas in the first round.

It might seem far-fetched, but the Bison led the Jayhawks at one point and trailed by three late in the second half. But they fell in the final minutes.

And that is what I think made this year’s tournament pretty lame.

Where were the last second heroics? Where was the incredible scenes on the court after a win we watch over and over in the tournament highlights?

There was none of those this year. Instead we watched several anti-climatic finishes of team’s either getting blown out, or close games ended by one team just making a bunch of free throws.

I won’t even begin to guess who will win the final four because if there is one thing I’ll learn after this season is never give anyone advice on their bracket ever again.

What’s worse are the analysts on television who get paid to guess and are continually incorrect. Yet, round after round they still make predictions.

Why would I listen to someone who just missed more picks than me in the last round?

I actually watch college basketball. I follow it pretty well. So, for me to have never picked the national champion correctly is amazing.

Is it possible I may not know as much as I thought? No, that’s just more crazy thinking.

I can safely say I didn’t pick this year’s champion correctly, because I didn’t pick any of the final four members correctly.

I love talking with someone about the tournament and they say, “I picked them because they have great colors and a fun mascot.”

At the time I chuckle to myself, but by the end of tournament that person just won the pool and I was eliminated long ago.

But, I suppose that’s what makes the tournament so great. Even if you don’t know a lot about it you get excited and follow teams you’ve never heard of.

And, the guys who have watched the whole season are left doing just that at the end of tournament — watching. Because all of their selections were based on too much research and not enough instinct.

Back in October I wrote a column and said my pick to win it all this season was Connecticut. After their point guard was injured and out for the year I had to change it to Memphis.

Wise move by me.

Uconn is in Detroit for the final four and Memphis is ... well in Memphis.

I’ll end by saying either trust your gut or take the higher seeds next season. But there I go giving advice again.


Barrett Henderson is a sports writer for The Observer. Reach him by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it