And your 2020 national champ is: Sorry, it’s nobody

basketball

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This notion that Kansas should be declared the 2020 national champ because it finished #1 in the final AP poll is fool’s gold, and I have four little letters that will prove that point to you: U-M-B-C.

We all remember who finished #1 in the final regular-season poll in 2018, because we’re Virginia fans, and because the 1-16 loss to UMBC on a Friday night in Charlotte ended up being part of a bigger story a year later.

But in the moment, it was a reminder that the regular season is the regular season, and March is Madness.

For Virginia fans, that point got reinforced six times last March and into early April.

National champs are national champs only after they’ve won six games.

And to be the one team that wins those six games, as we know, so many things have to go right.

You have to be able to rally from 14 down in the first half, to win a rock fight in the Sweet Sixteen, chase down a loose ball to send a game to OT at the buzzer, make three free throws with less than a second left, snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat that you’d snatched from the jaws of victory in another OT.

Everything from November to mid-March is prelude: champions are forged in the brackets.

Kansas is not the 2020 national champ.

2020 has no national champ.

The Reign of the Cavalier endures.

Story by Chris Graham


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