San Antonio, Texas- Was fortunate to be able to attend the recent Final Four extravaganza in San Antone. Stopped by the doctor’s office prior to and snagged some high-altitude medicine for the nosebleed ducats Debra and I possessed. What a wonderful time we had over the course of the long weekend.
Friday prior to Saturday’s doubleheader we visited the Alamodome, the arena where the games were to take place. We were able to go to the scheduled practices each team had that day and witness the players practicing and the head coaches being interviewed by Hall-Of-Fame announcer Jim Nantz. It was a quite relaxing atmosphere but you could still sense the anticipation that loomed in the air for the next days’ contests.
After the practices we went to the nearby convention center where the NCAA was holding a “Final Four Fan Fest” where there were all sorts of cool things to do including shooting hoops, showing off your basketball skill set, participating in a hot wings eating contest and schmoozing with various collegiate head coaches and former Final Four stars.
People I noticed were South Carolina head coach Frank Martin, St. Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli, former NBA champ Avery Johnson, former Phoenix sun Dan Majerle, Final Four MVP of years past Danny Manning out of Kansas and future NFL Hall-Of-Famer Larry Fitzgerald from the Arizona Cardinals, among others.
And then there were the games. None of the three were nail-biters and Villanova deservedly was crowned the champion. The most excited that this scribe got was when Loyola of Chicago pushed its lead to ten points over Michigan during the second half, only to experience deflation as the Ramblers turned the ball over five times in a row and allowed the Wolverines to turn the game completely around and post a double-figure victory.
In game two on Saturday Villanova sank 18 three-pointers and handled the Kansas Jayhawks rather well. It was simply a precursor to the championship game where ‘Nova started out slowly but turned on the heat towards the end of the first half and suffocated Michigan 79-62.
San Antonio is an awesome city in which to hold an event such as the Final Four. The Alamodome, convention center, hotels and the famous Riverwalk area are all within walking distance of each other. The locals embraced the various factions of fans and welcomed all with open arms. I highly recommend a visit to south-central Texas y’all.
Masters- Patrick Reed staved off monumental rallies by Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to win his first major golf title by capturing The Masters PGA golf tournament. Reed started the final round with a three-shot lead and saw it evaporate to zero as Spieth made a charge early in his round to pull level with the overnight leader. Spieth’s final round 64 came up two shots short however.
Fowler did his best to put the pressure on the eventual champion by birdieing the final hole to pull within a shot. But the steely resolve shown by Reed throughout the tournament was at the forefront as he dropped a three-and-a-half foot putt at 18 to garner the coveted green jacket.
By Michael Elliott