Sports 56 WHBlog Q

April 7, 2008

Tonight IS THE Night!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Peter Edmiston @ 3:11 pm

It’s been an incredible last 48 hours for the Tigers, and it’s all building to tonight’s National Championship game. Here in San Antonio, I can tell you that Tiger Nation is outnumbered by Jayhawk Nation, although I am seeing more Tiger shirts and hate today than I have all weekend long. That’s important, because I really feel like there’s going to be a significant noise advantage for Kansas in the Dome tonight.

Derrick Rose should be fine tonight. I know there’s been a lot of talk about his stomach issues, but what do you expect when the young man eats like a kid getting home after trick-or-treating? I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the delicious sweet treat every now and again, but I also try to mix in some actual semi-nutritious food every now and again. Derrick needs to start doing that.

Wait.

On second thought, scratch that idea. The guy is leading this team into the championship game playing better than any Tiger PG ever has – don’t change a thing! Just make sure you know the quickest way to the bathroom in case some of the Runts or Nerds decide to start the stomach a’rumblin.

It has been a distinct privilege to be able to cover this team over the last three years, and it feels like it’s all been building to this point. In Oakland, it was plainly obvious they just weren’t ready to be a Final Four team and the mistakes they made showed it. In San Antonio last year, they were immature and were one player away from being able to compete at the highest level. This year, they are ready. I can’t put it more clearly than that. They have gone through as much adversity as any team in recent memory, and they’ve come through it not unscathed, but rather, unleashed. This is a fearless team, and that starts with the fearless freshman at the helm. Chris Douglas-Roberts is right there alongside, with a chip on his shoulder and a gleam in his eye. They are not afraid of this moment, as some teams can be. They are ready.

If they lose, it won’t be because they were unprepared or nervous. It won’t be because they’re not tested against the toughest competition in the country. If they lose, it will be because the better team beat them. Kansas is a fantastic team, and would be a worthy champion. They’ve got a dynamic backcourt, a silky-smooth shooter who plays great defense, and a quartet of big men who can defend and be physical. This is the toughest test of the year for Memphis, and there would be no shame in a loss.

They’re not going to lose. Kansas doesn’t have the answer for Rose and CDR – no one does. And Joey Dorsey finally seems to get it. If the Tigers get a performance just like the one they put up against UCLA on Saturday night, they will win the national championship. And they are more than capable of doing just that.

Memphis 73 Kansas 64 – just too much talent and too much defense for the Jayhawks.

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