When it comes to sports, I love stats and numbers and the stories and everything....except for watching an entire game. (Example: Who has three hours free to piss away watching football?)
Why is it the best Final Four, ever?
I'll tell ya: The fantastic stories!
West Virginia: Last championship 1959 with Jerry West playing! The current coach, Bob Huggins, had a successful tenure at Cincinatti, but there was a recruiting scandal and fall from grace, inculding an ignominious DUI episode and a myocardial infarction.
Now, back at his alma mater for a shot at redemption, and the lone remaining team representing the Beast From The East...Big East.
Butler: First Final Four, ever. Playing 6 miles from campus. Their home gym is where "Hoosiers" was shot. 24 game winning streak. True Cinderalla story (kind of.)
Duke: I hated Duke...until I had sons. Then I thought, "If my son were blessed with hoop skills and could get a free education while playing Division I basketball in college, where would I hope he could go?"
Suddenly, I liked Duke better. Coach K seems like he'd be a good quality mentor and Duke is an OK school. (I rooted for Mike Montgomery at Stanford, but then he flaked out for the NBA and then Cal.) Coach K stays put, I admire that.
Michigan State: Izzo is a true-blue blue collar style guy who seems to live the rule of working hard that he teaches his kids. His 6th Final Four in the past 12 years, with one championship along the way.
If you look at the Final Four, there is not as much "diversity" as you might initially think - three of the four coaches have been there before, which allows one more cool point: College Hoops actually shows the coach to be an important part of a team's success. I like that, too!
So, wishing you a joyous and splendid Final Four!
Oh, picks, you say?
Duke over Michigan State in the final.