THIS is why I love college sports! My alma mater, my beloved Vanderbilt Commodores, shocked the college basketball world today with an SEC Tournament Championship win over #1-ranked University of Kentucky. Click here for the story. As the only private school and only top-20 academic school in the Southeastern Conference, Vandy has no hope in football and just a tad more hope than that in basketball. We make a bowl game in football once in a blue moon, and, like this past season, it's usually because 6-6 teams are allowed to play in bowl games (crazy!). We make an occasional run to a Sweet 16 in basketball, and that's considered a great coda to a good season. Athletic expectations at my alma mater are not through the roof. That is why today is so sweet.
We had to beat a less-than-stellar Ole Miss team in a hard-to-watch game (we missed TWENTY three-point shots!) to make the SEC Tournament final for the first time in 61 years. We won the final in 1951, which is our only other SEC Tournament championship. My parents were a year old in 1951, so it's easy to understand why a Vandy alumnus like me is raising a pint in celebration right now (I'll think about physics later!).
What makes today especially sweet is that we beat Kentucky, the undisputed top-ranked team in the land. They had to miss TWENTY-TWO three-point shots today so that we could win by 7 points. Kentucky is always the team-to-beat in the SEC. They have the most national titles (7), the most SEC regular-season titles (47), and the most SEC Tournament titles (27) of any SEC team.
Vandy ended Kentucky's 24-game winning streak today. The last and only other team to beat Kentucky this season? My Indiana Hoosiers on 10 December 2011!