Monday, March 31, 2008

Ones' Shining Moment

Despite a valiant effort by Davidson, next weekend’s Final Four is only open to the Goliaths. North Carolina, Memphis, UCLA, and Kansas will be part of the first Final Four comprised entirely of #1 seeds. At times the pace will be as fast as Formula One, but the basketball will be far more disciplined than AND1. Clearly the number one will be predominant in San Antonio. In honor of the occasion, here’s a look at the many ways in which “One/1” relates to this Final Four.

Point awarded for making a free throw, which Memphis actually can do.

Three Dog Night song noted for the line “One is the loneliest number.” Obviously they didn’t foresee this Final Four.

Years Derrick Rose and Kevin Love will spend in college. Despite references to Love and a Rose, the previous sentence was not meant to be romantic.

2001 film (The One) starring Jet Li, featuring nearly as much action as Saturday’s Kansas-North Carolina semifinal.

UCLA titles since John Wooden retired in 1975. That trophy was claimed in 1995 by Jim Harrick, who is eager to re-enter the ranks of crooked coaches.

Jersey number of Marcus Ginyard for North Carolina and Willie Kemp for Memphis. So even if they lose this weekend, they can still claim to be number one.

U2 hit song from the early 90s, back when Roy Williams was coaching the Jayhawks AGAINST the Tar Heels in Final Fours.

Losses for Memphis this season – a February defeat to Tennessee. The Tigers did slightly better against the other UT on Sunday.

Shots missed, out of 22, by Bill Walton in the biggest UCLA-Memphis game of all time – the 1973 NCAA Championship. Commenting from the future, broadcaster Bill Walton remarked, “What a HORRIBLE miss!”

Name of a global campaign to fight poverty. These teams will do their part by producing rich NBA players.

Players on these squads with a national championship ring (Quentin Thomas). So Quentin Thomas could become the first UNC player ever to win two national titles. That’s right, I said Quentin Thomas.

Moniker (“The One”) for Neo in The Matrix. Expect Saturday’s coaches to wear dark sunglasses to go with their suits.

Members of Conference USA who made the NCAA Tournament, meaning that Conference USA is undefeated in the Big Dance.

Signature tune from the Broadway smash A Chorus Line. This week, Broadway will feature college hoops’ number one from 2006 and 2007, as the Gators try to be #66 in 2008.

Number symbolized by those big foam fingers, which were developed in response to lackluster sales of “We’re number 3” foam products.

Previous Final Fours for John Calipari, as well as the number of press conferences in which an opposing coach threatened to kill him.

Hit single recorded by Metallica in the spring of 1988. Kansas fans appreciate any reference to the spring of 1988.

Numeric designation for point guard, as well as the round in which Derrick Rose, Darren Collison, and Ty Lawson will be drafted in June.

Atomic number of hydrogen. In honor of the student-athletes, I figured I’d put something educational in here.

Combined NCAA championships for the four coaches (Williams in 2005). I’ll go out on a limb and say that they’ll combine for another by next Monday night.

Name of a compilation album for The Beatles. Like John, Paul, George, and Ringo, this weekend’s participants comprise a Fab Four.

Games these teams will play at a time, assuming they know their clichés.

Division in which these teams play. Thankfully, the phrase “Bowl Subdivision” doesn’t apply to hoops.