It was definitely a bittersweet day inside the Sprint Center for me. For four days, I had been walking into that beautiful arena and around the beautiful new Power & Light District and having a great time. So when I walked into Section 105 today, it was sad to know it would be the last time for this tournament. Thanks again to my ticket source for getting me incredible seats for the event.
As for the game inside, for being stuck watching two schools of which I'm not fond, the level of play more than made up for any of those problems. It would have been miserable to be in there and watch one blow out the other, but of course that didn't happen. The worst part was when it was all over and I had to stick around for the postgame celebration amidst a sea of red and blue, but getting to see so many great players was worth it.
--D.J. Augustin is the best point guard I've ever seen live. He does a million little things and a few big things that make his team go. Texas fans should shudder at the thought of that team without him.
--Mario Chalmers shot the ball like most pros today.
--Ditto Brandon Rush, although he missed a few down the stretch.
--A.J. Abrams got hot in the second half, but he missed a lot of shots that he made yesterday.
--Not sure how much they showed it on TV, but Bill Self was really unhappy with the referees most of the first half. One of the refs was that fluffy haired moron who gave Jeff Capel a technical yesterday. He's such a pretty boy it makes me sick; he thinks the game is about his control. He T'd Capel up for waving his arm in disgust at a call. What a joke.
--We sat right next to Sasha Kaun's mom. She was really nervous the whole game.
--Kathleen Sebelius was there wearing a 2008 Orange Bowl jacket. Made me want to puke. She showed it to Tim Weiser after the game...he didn't look especially impressed.
Now we can move on from the Big 12 Championship and focus on the NCAA Tournament. For the first time in 12 years, our K-State Wildcats are featured in the bracket. The matchup, of course, is a 6/11 game between us and USC. If anyone argues with me that the committee doesn't look for a few marquee matchups, I won't take them seriously. Clearly having Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo on the floor in the same game was the goal.
I need to gather more information before doing a full preview on USC, but you can expect plenty more about the Trojans before tipoff on Thursday. I've contacted the blogger over at Conquest Chronicles, the SB Nation blog for USC, and hope to find out more about USC from them.
Tomorrow, look for my final photo thread from the Big 12 Championship.