The underdogs were cute, and Butler two years ago was a special treat, but sooner or later we really had to get back to basics in the NCAA Tournament.
We needed a championship game with true heft, cachet, and romance, a title game of college basketball elites. You don’t need one every year, but it’s good to have one every once in a while in which more than a century of tradition permeates every aspect of the matchup.
And so we give you for the 74th championship game in NCAA Tournament history a matchup Monday night between the most pluperfect ultra of ultra-establishment teams. We give you a matchup between the two winningest programs in college basketball, teams with a combined total of 4,161 victories, 10 NCAA championships, 29 Final Four appearances, and 94 combined trips to the tournament itself.
It’s UK vs. KU, and it’s a good thing the Kentucky and Kansas kids are reasonably capable of staying in the moment. Histories like this can be quite suffocating.