Even in a pile of rubble, there’s a piece that ends up on top. Our men’s brackets are the pile of rubble, and mine is the piece that ended up on top.  This is our bracket wrap.

Darrell – 68 points

  • Previous Rounds – 46-18, 68 points
  • National Semifinals – 0-2, 0 points
  • National Championship – 0-1, 0 points

Darrell’s Wife – 43 points

  • Previous Rounds – 31-33, 43 points
  • National Semifinals – 0-2, 0 points
  • National Championship – 0-1, 0 points

We whiffed on the final weekend. Completely. Zero points. It is some consolation that I won my first latte of the weekend, and the national championship game was an amazing, awesome, incredible game … that I slept right through. You make choices in life, friends, and I made a choice about 11 months ago to sign up for the Midwest Half and Half Challenge. For those of you who aren’t as crazy as I am, that means running two half marathons in two states over a roughly 26-hour period. It’s like running a marathon, but with a lengthy halftime. In any case, races mean race training, and race training means getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning to run before work. Of course, that means missing one of the two best championship-game endings ever. EVER. Seriously, I get that the folks on the left coast want to see the game, but so do the future Wildcats (Can we call them Wildkittens?) and junior Tar Heels. Why can’t we have these games on weekends so children and people who made insane commitments nearly a year ago can watch without sleeping through half the following school/work day?

Enough of my whining and pontificating (despite the fact that blogging is all about whining and pontificating) – it’s time to talk about the women’s tournament. Going into the Final Four games, my wife was leading by six – six! – points. Our battle came down to the UConn women versus the field. My wife took the field. I took UConn.

Darrell – 61 points

  • Previous Rounds: 33-27, 50 points
  • National Semifinals: 1-1, 5 points
  • National Championship: 1-0, 6 points

Darrell’s Wife – 56 points

  • Previous Rounds: 35-25, 56 points
  • National Semifinals: 0-2, 0 points
  • National Championship: 0-1, 0 points

I have a friend here in Michigan who is a UConn graduate. During the week, she expressed to me her concerns that UConn may struggle next year, given how many seniors are graduating this year. I laughed. “It’s UConn. They’ll be fine,” I told her. They picked up one of the best 2016 recruits in the country in Crystal Dangerfield, who will surely get more respect than Rodney ever did. The class ranking isn’t super-high, but who coaches ‘em up better than Geno Auriemma? As much as Dan Shaughnessy may hope it isn’t the case, I don’t really expect much to change in Storrs. Besides, if Mr. Shaughnessy is right (and he seems to be) that there is no real competition for the Huskies, is it their fault? Isn’t it ultimately on the other teams to get better?

uconn women national championship

The UConn women may need a bigger trophy case (Photo Credit: New York Daily News)

Regardless, the Huskies crushed the Orange, and [cue the music] earned me a second latte in two days. The only thing I can’t decide is whether I should ask my friend with the UConn degree to pick up a hat for me, so that I can wear it while drinking the beverage that Auiremma’s charges won for me.


As a child, Darrell Harden occasionally dreamed of becoming a sports writer. As an adult, he works a desk job and runs a little faster than the average half marathoner, but still occasionally dreams about becoming a sports writer, even if his wife really doesn’t like “sportsball.” You can find him on Twitter as @Darrell_Harden and on Instagram as @darrell.harden.

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