Monday, April 12, 2021

Zags, Baylor and a few thoughts on faith

by CAROL SHIRK KNAPP Contributing Writer
| April 7, 2021 1:00 AM

The story's not done yet. But it will be in another few hours.

Are the Zags going to earn the NCAA men's basketball championship? Be the first undefeated college team to take it all the way since Indiana in 1976?

I must have read every write-up on the Suggs’ Final Four winning buzzer beater shot — and watched the video dozens of times. Mesmerized all over again. When I saw it in real time I jumped up, yelping full throttle.

What about the locker room video? Mark Few, the photo finish picture of classic coach unruffability, whooping it up and doing a handstand.

One article remarked on how unselfish the Zags team is. They want victory for all. There's something so inspiring about that — watching them work the court as one in a surge of sweat and joy.

Their young unbridled excitement is catching. I find myself wanting them to do this — bring home a national championship and a perfect season. I'm a believer in the good they give the game; their accomplishments somehow sending me in the clouds, too.

Here we are gathering tonight — sports enthusiasts, and maybe some who aren't but have caught the fever for this Gonzaga-Baylor game. Zags fans will be one team from wherever we watch — and that's the true magic of it.

To be continued …

Well, it didn't happen. Baylor was better. In this game, anyway. But it was the one with the crown. There's deep disappointment, and feeling miserable for the team — even though their season was spectacular. As someone noted, this was our last chance to see these particular guys play together. That's a big loss right there.

Across the court the story is different — and it's worth noting. The Baylor coach, Scott Drew — good friends with Zags coach, Mark Few — 18 years ago took over a basketball program so far below sea level no one thought it could come up for air.

Murder, cheating, lies, fines, sanctions — scandal with a capital S, but Drew believed in what he could build there. After nearly two decades of faith and effort his team is now the NCAA men's basketball national champion.

If tonight's crown wasn't meant for the Zags, then it didn't go to waste on Baylor.