They won’t be remembered as among the greatest teams ever. Not even close. Times have changed too much and we’ll not likely ever a college basketball team that would be able to shine the shoes of the greatest teams from UCLA, Indiana, Kentucky, UNLV, Georgetown, Duke and North Carolina.
And yet the Florida Gators deserve their own place on the mantel. Not simply because they became the first team in 15 years to successfully defend their national title last night by overcoming a resilient Ohio State team, 84-75, in ATL. But because of the unique all-or-nothing pact made by the team’s stars last season in which they all decided to forgo NBA riches for at least a year and return to Gainesville and chase history.
Even had they not won the title, the crew – Joakim Noah (above, center), Al Horford and Corey Brewer (above, left), the only one among them who TRULY needed the dough – should have been lauded for their decision, and for enduring the pressure and detractors that dogged their heels throughout the season. That they did makes them truly special.
Hope you TiVo’d the game. We won’t likely see the likes of it again.