Out of the tens of millions of NCAA brackets that were filled out online two weeks ago, only two... two... still have 100% accuracy to this point. It goes to show how impossible it is to actually pick each individual matchup during the tournament. It may also provide a small glimpse of how improbable this Kentucky team has been this year.
Sure, maybe thousands more still have Kentucky in their final four bracket... most UK fans probably still do (myself included.)But, to put them there, and to actually believe they could do it are two totally different things.
Be honest. You thought this Kentucky team would go home after Tampa. And, then most certainly after Newark. Nobody thought this UK team, this year would be cutting down any nets the first weekend of April.
This year's team was supposed to be the "in-betweeners". After losing seven players last year (five to the NBA), this year's team was going to be good, but not John Wall/DeMarcus Cousins good. With next year's freshman class's star ratings to rival and even surpass last year's, this 2010-2011 team was going to be the one to bridge us to the next. But, somebody forgot to tell the team what they were supposed to do, what their destiny would be.
From a shaky start to the season in Maui to suprising losses in the SEC season to its post-season perfection, this team has shown to everybody that it is in control of its own legacy, good and bad. They took the hits along the way so they would better know how to defend against them when it really mattered in March.
They heard the criticism, they heard the comparisons and they heard the doubters. But was anyone listening to them? Did anyone know they believed in themselves and what they expected out of each other?
At this point, it doesn't really matter who said or who thought what. Brackets are all busted across the country, proving anything can happen in March. But, for UK fans, what has happened is magical and it won't soon disappear.
Regardless of what happens in Houston, this UK team will go down in history as one of the most beloved by fans. Our first trip to the Final Four in 13 years, beating UNC and Ohio State for the first time in an NCAA tournament game and getting revenge for past losses along the way.
They won't be remembered as much for what they did do, but what they weren't supposed to do. And, that is what has made this entire tournament and this UK team extraordinary... it was all a pleasant surprise.