The real Cinderella died as midnight crept into Saturday morning, the dastardly, unaccommodating, fairy-tale-spoiling Florida Gators turning Dunk City into Funk City. People in Fort Myers now go back to doing whatever it is people in Fort Myers do as Florida Gulf Coast University disappears quietly back into the ether, as if it never happened.
The reasonable-facsimile Cinderella, however, lives on!
FGCU’s ouster left Wichita State as the Last Cinderella Standing entering the weekend’s Elite Eight games. The other seven surviving teams all were top-four seeds and had combined for 12 national championships, all winning at least one.
Except for Wichita State, seeded No. 9 and bereft of a national title.
I did not like Wichita State’s chances against second-seeded Ohio State on Saturday night despite the underdog’s impossibly Cinderella-y nickname: Shockers.
It wasn’t just that I thought Ohio State was better. It was that Wichita State had been given an impromptu pep talk from, of all people, Gators icon Tim Tebow. I could only imagine that the Shockers were then inspired that they, too, might ultimately disappoint and go on to unsuccessful, short-lived pro careers.
Instead, the Shockers did what Shockers do. They Shocked!
As for Miami Hurricanes fans still lamenting their team’s ouster, Sunday’s last two Elite Eight games should inspire renewed interest and vigor. After all, if a fan of The U cannot cheer for his own team, is not the next best thing to root loudly against the Blue Devils and Gators?Lance Louis Vaughn Martin