As a Kansas girl living in Memphis, last night's game was entirely too stressful for me. I love the city of the blues, but I wasn't quite eager to trade my Jayhawk blue for Tiger blue (although they really don't differ in color). I must admit that I remained indifferent towards either team until I actually turned the game on last night. While I might be from Kansas, I have always rooted for K-State over the Jayhawks. Along the same lines, I didn't feel like hopping on the Memphis bandwagon even though everyone else in the city was. However, as soon as I flipped the tv channel, my roots started pulling at me and I found myself chanting "Rock Chalk Jayhawk, K-U" while my roommate quarantined herself in her room to watch the same game (she was rooting for Memphis).
Overall, the game was so intense that I had to move all objects that could possibly stain our white carpet out of arms length. When Chalmers launched the trifecta with 10 seconds to go, I didn't want to celebrate too loudly. I heard the sounds of frustration from my neighbors when Joey Dorsey fouled out and when CDR and Derrick Rose missed their foul shots. By the end of the game, I had heard enough screams of anguish from my neighbors in the next building that I knew gloating was out of the question for the morning. That was confirmed when there seemed to be a thick cloud in the air as I left for class; the city was silent and no one wanted to talk about the night before. No longer was I a Jayhawk fan excited about the team's win, but in a way I felt for my fellow Memphians.
The whole city of Memphis was riding on this team, and many have said that the city needed the win just as much or more than the university. I read somewhere that the city identified with this team: seemingly never given credit for the good things accomplished, being perceived as made up of "thugs," etc. I don't know if I agree with this statement, but I could see where many in Memphis might. It is unfortunate that Memphis was so close, so very close; but in retrospect I feel like the path to the championship is way more important than the outcome...and that's what Tiger fans need to turn to. Memphis had a Cinderella season, but midnight struck a few seconds too soon.
I'd venture to say that Coach Cal will be running free throw drills from now until eternity.