A Gonzo Sports Column Celebrating UConn’s Women’s Basketball Championship for All the Wrong Reasons…Tipping a Cap to Rick Pitino…and Wondering Why Jay-Z Went All Jerry Maguire on Us
For the first time since Duke did it in 1999, Louisville had both the men and women fighting for a championship. A men’s and women’s college team had never won both championships, and thankfully still haven’t. Connecticut beat Louisville handily on Tuesday, 93-60, for their eighth title. I’m just glad Duke will have another shot — or more — to be the first school to thoroughly dominate college basketball. But Kudos to the Louisville ladies. Though they were obviously outmatched against UConn, they were the only women’s team I watched (that’s right, I didn’t even watch the Duke Lady Devils) and liked their style and grit very much. Both Louisville squads left their heart and soul on the floor every night and that’s all you can ask.
The Louisville men fared better as Rick Pitino won his second championship on Monday, his first with Louisville, who beat Michigan in an instant classic, 82-76. You may remember from my last column that I picked Louisville to win it all after they beat my Dukies. I got my wish, and the injured Kevin Ware cut down the nets. It was a storybook ending to an epic season, and I can’t think of a team that deserved it more. Louisville’s full-court defense was relentless, their guard play was fantastic, and they had the toughest road to the title in recent memory — not only because of the competition in their region of the bracket but because of the gruesome injury to Ware. I tip my hat to Pitino, who was selected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, an honor that took far too long. As he got the call, his son Richard was texting him that he received the head coaching job at the University of Minnesota. It was a good couple of days for the Pitinos.
Finally, in totally unrelated news, former rapper turned sports agent, Jay-Z, will be forced to sell his 1/15 stake in the Brooklyn Nets in order to represent NBA players. His shares are worth around $350,000, which is just pocket change to Jay-Z. He netted his first client last week when Roc Nation partnered with Creative Artist Agency (CAA). The Jigga Man is off to a good start, signing MLB’s best second baseman, Robinson Cano, who left Scott Boras. Jay-Z can certainly afford to do what he wants and has proved it. He rebranded the Nets, who have realized a revival in Brooklyn, and now he represents one of the biggest superstars in baseball. What’s next? Another album? Don’t hold your breath.