That's all she wrote folks. The women's championship is over and "Rocky Top" is being blared for the 8,657th time of the night. That can only mean one thing. Tennessee's won another banner. That's seven for the Lady Vols.
Alberta Aguste celebrates the Lady Vols seventh national title.
And all the Tennessee faithful sing:
Rocky Top, you'll always be
Home sweet home to me;
Good ol' Rocky Top --
Rocky Top Tennessee, Rocky Top Tennessee.
How these fans don't get sick of this song is beyond me. But they don't. Then again, I'd sing the same song over and over again if it meant my team had just won a national title.
In a way it seems fitting that Tennessee captured the women's title and Florida the men's. Both were #1 seeds in their tournament brackets and if anyone was surprised that either won the title they need to get out a little more.
One fan tells Candace where she can shove it.
Psychologically too, the Gators and the Lady Vols both had an edge over their opponents. Florida had already crushed the Buckeyes during the regular season - not to mention their football team's victory over OSU in the BCS National Championship Game - and Tennessee has never lost to a team seeded four or lower.
And while neither game was very exciting in the second half due to an ever increasing margin of victory, Matt and I grew more excited with each passing second. The end of our mad voyage through the college basketball landscape was not only in sight, it was right around the corner.
And now, as Pat Summit hoists her seventh trophy in 33 years at the helm and Sheldon Williams celebrates his girlfriend's first championship, the Hoops Odyssey officially comes to an end. (That's right - Sheldon Williams is dating Candace Parker, our favorite college basketball couple.)
It's been a delicious experience. Imagine eating your favorite food every day, sometimes twice a day, for three months. That's kind of like our relationship to college basketball. We have a new appreciation for the players, coaches and fans who make this sport as fun and competitive as it is. But it's time to go home now. I've got a beard to shave off and a lot of sleep to catch up on.
After the game Parker assured UT fans she won't leave early for the WNBA.
With my final words, I'd like to relay a message to you that I saw on a sign hanging outside a restaurant in Brooklyn back on the first day of the Odyssey. The sign read: "Shoot Hoops, Not Guns." It's nice to know that some people out there believe that basketball might just play a tiny part in keeping the street safe. Makes the last three months seem not just fun, but significant.