I love college sports. I love the NCAA tournament. Filling out brackets, the 'cinderellas', all of it- I love. I've had the opportunity to go to some NCAA tournaments as a member of the pep band which is a ton of fun in itself. What Auburn has done in the last three is nothing short of amazing.
It started with the opening game. I knew we could do it but I would not have guessed that it would happen the way it did. Alex Thompson and Devin Waddell were called upon and they stood tall when they were. There are times where people work really hard and do not get the credit that others do. For whatever reason. It's easy to just say, "Eh, its ok. I just am kind of here." Not good enough for Bruce Pearl and our boys. They were ready when their numbers were called. College athletes catch a lot of flak for things, but there are times we see the heart and passion. Watching Alex play, I could only think about all the times he has put in the hard work and waited for his turn, not sure if it would come. For the record, I would love to see a video compilation of "The Caboose" antics. I think they give a lot of energy to the team and fans. The whole team worked together. Cim may not have had his best game, but he did not sit on the bench and pout. Instead, he cheered the guys along and gave Coach a big ol' kiss. KC hit his frees and made a difference in the game. I love rooting for the little guy, so to see Alex get to play the way he did was a joy. Then let's talk about KT. He's kind of a quiet guy. The SEC leading scorer was not given the credit he deserved . Did he sit and pout? Nope. The team seemed like they were playing for KT, but when I looked at KT, he was playing for the team. It was amazing to watch.
Now the second game, I was less sure of victory. I knew it was winnable, but I was not as sure. Once again, they stood tall. They were DOWN BY TEN at the half, but within just a couple of minutes, they had that erased. It would have been easy for the players to just let it slip by them. They would have been rooted for anyway since they ended the drought of SEC tournament games. That wasn't good enough for our boys. They fought hard down to the end and then just had a little extra. It was incredible to watch them play together. When there was a small amount of time left, the announcers kept mentioning that TAMU's NCAA tourney hopes were dashed, I kept thinking, "Shut up! The game isn't over yet!" I was pacing the house, super excited.
Game three- now if I was unsure of the TAMU game, I was definitely unsure in the LSU game. I knew it was winnable since we beat them before, but I knew the guys had to be getting tired. I did not get to see the first part of the game, but I listened to it on the radio. I did the majority of the second half though. I saw more fight in this team than I think I have ever seen in any basketball team. KT played out of his mind. I loved seeing Bruce Pearl give it to the refs when he disagreed with calls. I don't think he was all about the win, but he was fighting for his players. Malcolm was playing amazingly well. I know there are other individual players that I have not mentioned. By the way, my mom taught TJ. She has been very excited to watch him play. I am so glad to see him get some experience under his belt. I don't remember a time where ALL the people except the ones we were playing against were rooting for Auburn. It was simply amazing to see. I started seeing tweets that the Kentucky team was rooting for the Auburn boys. They did not quit! They kept going. I wish KT, Malcolm, KC, and Antoine had more time with the team and Coach Pearl. They have set a foundation that will build teams of the future.
I can't wait to watch tomorrow. War Eagle!