Sunday, March 4, 2007

Champs Again....

What a time in St. Louis.

I'm not the best writer, don't pretend to be, so I'm going to be brief here in what I have to say about Nate Funk, A-Train and Nick Porter. It's 9 pm but it feels like 2 am to me. A lot action in 4 days and I'm not even home yet. The Jays just left St. Louis on a flight for Omaha with a trophy in tow and I can only imagine how tired they must be after 3 games in 3 days. Yet, they'll sleep as Champions tonight.

This experience in St. Louis will be a story that I tell my kids about. It started with a blizzard and tornados. A cancelled flight. A drive, with a stranger who I met at the airport the morning of my flight who happened to be Ref, on a closed highway into sunshine. A blow out first win. A convincing win in a must win game. And then a classic win to send the Jays dancing for the 7th time in 9 years over a hated rival. This is why Omaha loves Creighton. And why the people of Omaha love St. Louis. They are always the happiest when they leave the party. Dana Altman is the reason why. The man is simply the best coach I've ever been around.

I went to interview Coach Brian Fish last night at the Sheraton Hotel and walked in to Little Omaha. There were SOOO many Bluejay fans in the lobby, decked in blue, talking basketball. I felt like a Rock Star walking in to so many people who wanted to talk about the Jays with me. It was really nice. Of course, they were partying as they should have been the night before the Championship game. However, there was a aura of confidence over everyone. It was like they KNEW that they were going to win. Not a question. And the players performed like it today.

Some of you might know how I got this next tidbit of info but someone very close to me talked to Kyle Korver today about the win for the Jays. She told me that he watched the game in the trainer's room before the Sixers played tonight. I love pros who still love their college. She told me that Kyle was all smiles talking about the win and Nate's performance. He was very proud to be a Jay today.

I don't know if I will get to see another Jays game in person this year. My station hasn't told me if we are covering the tournament or not (don't flip out, no word yet I said). I may have watched my last game of Nate Funk, Anthony Tolliver, and Nick Porter in person. And if I have, I'm glad the image that I will remember will be Nate's hanging shots in the lane. AT's rebounds over SIU, and Nick Porter putting his head down like a bull and going right at the Saluki's all game long. The 3 headed monster came to life at the right time and they get to raise another banner in Qwest.

St. Louis was a blast for me. More fun than the ACC tournament. More fun than the A-10 Tournament. For this weekend, I'm not ashamed to say that I wanted the Jays to win. They've been through a lot and fought through. Personally, in the brief conversations I've had with Nate, I like him a lot. He's the quiet confident guy that is very easy to get along with. I really hope they get a few wins in the dance. Maybe Nate is this year Patrick O'Bryant.

Congrats to the Jays. I had a blast covering this tournament. I hope you enjoyed the radio shows and the blog entries. Talk to you tomorrow from 2 to 6.

From St. Louis - Goodnight....

PS - no Trav tomorrow but we will replay the whole championship game for those who want to relive the win.

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