You can definitely say that the NCAA Division I March Madness college basketball championships has reached a new height in April when the last two teams standing are the two lowest seeds who ever played for a national championsip.
When I wrote this column I didn’t know who won the national title, but whoever did should be getting a ton of kudos for their season-ending conference tournament and March Madness playoff bracket-busting runs to reach the final.
The historical showdown featured tough, senior-led seventh-seeded University of Connecticut, under the direction of articulate second-year coach Kevin Ollie, facing young, talented, freshmen-led eighth-seeded University of Kentucky, guided by proven veteran – with five final-four appearances and one national-title – coach John Calipari.
Whether you like Calipari or not, the guy is a great coach, who continues to prove it year in and year out, and no doubt coaching from college to the pros and then back to college again has led to success – like Rick Pitino and the master Larry Brown – by getting high-pressure sculpturing and seasoning at hoops highest levels.
But what Calipari has achieved puts him into a rare class of top coaches at any level because of his communication and teaching skills, as well as a lot of patience for being able coach young men this far.