After a month of basketball that exemplified everything the NCAA Tournament is thought to be, how fitting is it that it comes to an end on the melodic tones of Luther Vandross’ ‘One Shining Moment?’
As the vision of Kevin Ware clipping the net faded away, Luther ushered in a montage of the entire tournament, all of the great moments, the heartbreaking losses and the dramatic finishes. We were reminded of the Cinderella teams that rewrote the history books, beating teams no one thought they could, and making it deeper than anyone had. Moments we will remember years from now and proudly say we watched it all unfold before our eyes.
We saw scrappy teams with determined mind-states deny the offensive intent of their opponents, and scoring machines rising to the occasion when it seemed it was against all odds.
Of course, there were the buzzer beaters and late game heroics. The unknown commodity turned sharpshooter, and the fallen warriors that willed their team to victory. One of the wounded in particular stole the hearts of a nation, his gruesome injury a possible catalyst setting into motion the chain of events that led to his Louisville Cardinals standing alone atop the college basketball landscape.
The montage drew upon the drama of the moment, reminding us all of why we love this event so much. The strains of an R&B legend’s final offering to the world, intertwined with pictures from a month of pure madness, move all of us, one more time, demonstrating just how beautiful a game of sport can be.