Has it really been 30 Years since Michael Jordan hit that jump shot in the Superdome in New Orleans to lead North Carolina over a Patrick Ewing led Georgetown team to win the NCAA Basketball National Championship?
Yes, it has been 30 Years and that has been one Helluva FAST 30 Years because ALL of us here at Coaches Hot Seat can vividly recall watching one of the greatest and most entertaining basketball games of our entire lives between Dean Smith’s Tar Heels and John Thompson’s Hoyas that night in New Orleans 30 Years ago and yes again….those 30 Years went by Very Fast!
Wow! It was a GREAT basketball game 30 years ago and it is still one of the Greatest basketball games we have ever watched and just think….ALL of us here at Coaches Hot Seat watched it live on TV and we cannot recall missing any of the major NCAA Basketball Tournament games over the past 30 years except for a few of us that were in the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Storm in the spring of 1991 where the only way to follow the games was to listen to them on the radio or on TV if one was lucky enough find a hotel in UAE or Bahrain that had satellite TV!
Tonight’s Kansas – Kentucky game should be a great one and based upon the Final Four games both the Jayhawks and Wildcats are loaded with talented and both are also incredibly well-coached which means this game will probably come down to who executes the best under pressure and if we had to lean one way or the other we give the slight edge to Kansas because they will put a more experienced line-up on the floor that has played in a lot more big games than the young but very talented Kentucky Wildcats.
ESPN.com’s Gene Wojciechowski is right though…..this NCAA National Championship Game is a VERY BIG Game for Kentucky head coach John Calipari:
“Final Four washout or first-time champion? Overpaid or underappreciated? One-and-done specialist or dynasty builder?
There is no middle ground for Kentucky coach John Calipari. He either wins a national title against underdog Kansas or he doesn’t. And if he doesn’t, then the doubts and questions will begin to bubble to the surface throughout Big Blue Nation.
Calipari will leave the Superdome in the wee hours of Tuesday morning as a failure or as the guy who led UK from the desert. Kentucky hasn’t won one of these things since 1998 and Wildcats fans are tired of Final Four dry mouth.
Pressure? Calipari said he doesn’t notice it.
“No, I was dancing in the breakfast room this morning,” Calipari said. “I’m fine. This isn’t about me. I’m good. My thing is how do I get my team to play its best?”
His UK legacy? He shrugs his shoulders in disinterest.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “If my legacy is decided on one game, it won’t be me deciding it. It will be everybody else.”
No program has made more NCAA tournament appearances, played in more NCAA tournament games and recorded more NCAA tournament victories. Only UCLA has won more national championships.
So you can understand why Calipari is under some duress. Given his nearly $5.4 million salary package, the Death Star brand power of Kentucky basketball, the state-of-the-art facilities and the recruiting tentacles that stretch from one coast to the next, UK followers expect Calipari to win. In many ways, they demand it.
Calipari knows this. He has become the latest BCNTHWAT — Best Coach Never To Have Won A Title. At Kentucky, that’s not an acronym you want stuck to the bottom of your shoe heel for very long.”
Please John….lose this game to Kansas and you will find out in a hurry that WINNING National Championships is what Kentucky basketball is ALL about which all lays down an undercurrent to tonight’s UK – KU game that puts most of the pressure squarely on Calipari and the Wildcats and as we have seen in many NCAA Basketball National Championship games over the years it is often the younger more experienced team that cracks under the pressure when the chips are down.
Now, let’s settle an NCAA Basketball National Championship and then up next…..
“Why have all the sprinters who have run the 100 meters in under ten seconds been black?
What’s one thing Mozart, Venus Williams, and Michelangelo have in common?
Is it good to praise a child’s intelligence?
Why are baseball players so superstitious?
Few things in life are more satisfying than beating a rival. We love to win and hate to lose, whether it’s on the playing field or at the ballot box, in the office or in the classroom. In this bold new look at human behavior, award-winning journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed explores the truth about our competitive nature—why we win, why we don’t, and how we really play the game of life. Bounce reveals how competition—the most vivid, primal, and dramatic of human pursuits—provides vital insight into many of the most controversial issues of our time, from biology and economics, to psychology and culture, to genetics and race, to sports and politics.
Backed by cutting-edge scientific research and case studies, Syed shatters long-held myths about meritocracy, talent, performance, and the mind. He explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, and weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work, and will. From sex to math, from the motivation of children to the culture of big business, Bounce shows how competition provides a master key with which to unlock the mysteries of the world.”
Below are a few videos we found on YouTube.com of Matthew Syed talking about his book Bounce and his ideas and theories about how GREAT achievers became so GREAT at what they do: