I count eight close NCAA tournament losses in the last ten years, off the top of my head, including two in overtime in championship games.It turns out that I undercounted. It's actually eleven. Here's the rundown. I saw the first four unfold directly before my eyes, and caught at least part of all the others but one on TV. (the one I totally missed was the hockey loss to Wisconsin in 2006.)
In happier news: The Mets shed fifty years of frustration and ridicule by getting their first no-hitter last week, off the surgically repaired arm of Johan Santana. I flipped the game on just after Mike Baxter's game saving catch in the seventh inning. The last seven outs were as nerve racking as I've experienced watching a baseball game, probably even more so than the World Series in 2000.* After the game, I finally got a look at the blown call in the sixth inning. Some might claim that it isn't truly a no-hitter because of that. But does Armando Galarraga have credit for a perfect game? No. Does Philip Humber have credit for a perfect game? Yes. Please excuse the proof by tautology, but the ball was foul because Adrian Johnson called it foul. Simple as that. Now, should we have replay for things like that? Probably. I'm sure that Major League Baseball can work out an equitable way to make it work - tennis does it, after all. That call on Beltran's ball was one of many breaks the Mets got along the way. I'm so relieved this monkey is off our backs, I'm so happy that it was Johan after working so hard to get back - and I feel for the Padres fans who now bear the burden of that monkey all by themselves.
* I didn't have a TV for Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS; I followed most of that one online and switched to the radio for the bottom of the ninth.