The drama is out of the NCAA tournament, and that’s OK. Because on Monday night, two teams that should be playing for the national title are playing for the national title.
SAN ANTONIO — It had been that kind of NCAA tournament — a little bit wild, a lot unexpected. Then afternoon turned to evening, and the Final Four fell back toward normalcy, in a basketball purists’ sense, anyway. UMBC, then Loyola-Chicago and Sister Jean, had allowed us to revel in the underdogs, in the idea that anybody could truly beat anybody no matter the resource divide.
This is what makes college basketball more egalitarian than its football counterpart: Loyola-Chicago can live in this world and be loved in this world. In the end, though, it has a hard time winning it all in this world.
So the two favorites won their Final Four games, and now Michigan and Villanova will play in the championship game, two recognizable basketball brands with tradition and history and three national titles between them.