Here’s how it should have gone for North Carolina in the 1991 Final Four: Take care of underdog Kansas in the semis, then clobber Duke — again — in the final. Something often lost in the story of Mike Krzyzewski’s first national championship is that his Blue Devils had been blown out 96-74 by the higher-ranked Tar Heels in the ACC tournament.
Oh, well. The Kansas part never happened. The Jayhawks upset UNC 79-73 on the way to a runner-up finish in Indianapolis. The Tar Heels went home crushed despite a 25-point night for sweet-shooting guard Hubert Davis.
“That was the toughest loss that I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” said Davis, now UNC’s coach, on Sunday.
It’s not as dramatic a storyline as the end of Coach K’s career hanging in the balance, but it’s something you can think about as you watch the Tar Heels and Jayhawks clash Monday night for the national title in New Orleans.
How many times will the camera land on Davis’ predecessor, Roy Williams, clad in Carolina blue in the stands? Before he won 485 games at his alma mater, he won 418 as coach at Kansas. That’s not to be confused with the work of the late, great Dean Smith, the greatest Tar Heels coach of them all. We’ll give you one guess where Smith went to school. Yep, Kansas. He won a national title there as a player and everything.
This stuff pretty much writes itself, you know?
And here’s what’s happening:
White Sox at Cubs (3:05 p.m., Marquee)
Twenty-nine days before the teams meet for real at Wrigley Field, they spend a few hours together in the wind-down of spring training at Sloan Park. Soak up that sun while you can, fellas.
Kansas vs. North Carolina (8:20 p.m., TBS)
No big deal, just a championship matchup of the schools with the most (KU) and third-most (UNC) wins in college basketball history. Drink every time an announcer says “blue bloods” and you might make it to halftime.
Bucks at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH, ESPN)
OK, so the Bulls are 0-3 against Milwaukee and 0-17 against the top three contenders in each conference. But it’s only April, right?
Celtics at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH)
A first-round playoff preview? Boston — not counted among the previously mentioned top contenders, though maybe it should be — is the league’s hottest team over the last two-plus months.
Brewers at Cubs (1:20 p.m., Marquee)
Opening Day! Now this is exciting. By the way, Draft Kings has set the over/under on how many innings it’ll take fans in the right-field bleachers to fall in love with newcomer Seiya Suzuki at 4½.
The Masters, first round (2 p.m., ESPN)
More than a year since he was badly injured in a car crash, Tiger Woods is a “gametime decision” to kick off his comeback at Augusta. Sure would be nice to see him out there.
Celtics at Bucks (6:30 p.m., TNT)
Yet another game with huge implications as far as whom the Bulls will lose to in the opening round. Sorry, did we say “lose to”? That should’ve read “possibly not dominate.”
Kraken at Blackhawks (7:30 p.m., NBCSCH)
We’ve all been waiting for it, and — amen! — the rubber match between the Hawks and Kraken, who split their first two meetings, is finally here. Try to contain yourselves.
Lakers at Warriors (9 p.m., TNT)
LeBron James and his mates are hanging on to postseason hopes by the spindliest of threads. And to think some have the nerve to compare this guy to the real GOAT — Bulls legend Stacey King.
White Sox at Tigers (12:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
Opening Day! Man, it’s always nice to have a Chicago baseball team favored to win its division. And you have to be excited about newcomer AJ Pollock, easily the Sox’ best “AJ P.” since a certain World Series-winning catcher.
Brewers at Cubs (1:20 p.m., Marquee)
Fans of the North Siders sure are pumped up to watch Marcus Stroman make his first Cubs start. What do you call 1-0? Stro far, Stro good.
Hornets at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH)
After a brutal February, the Hornets have turned things around and gotten on an encouraging late-season roll. Lucky for them, they’ll never know if they could’ve done it without a Ball brother in the lineup.
Fire at Orlando (noon, Univision, TUDN)
How is Xherdan Shaqiri’s achy calf coming along? The Fire probably need him out there if they’re going to continue pulling off this strange, delicate maneuver referred to in soccer circles as “not losing.”
NCAA Frozen Four, men’s final (7 p.m., ESPN2)
Will it be Denver, Michigan, Minnesota or Minnesota State that cuts down the nets? Come to think of it, they don’t do that in hockey, but you get the gist.
White Sox at Tigers (12:10 p.m., TBD)
It’s never too early to talk about winning a game on get-away day. Next up after this one: baseball at The Rate.
The Masters, final round (1 p.m., Ch. 2)
Jordan Spieth? Justin Thomas? Dustin Johnson? Collin Morikawa? One American or another is bound to win the green jacket.
Bulls at Timberwolves (TBD, NBCSCH+)
Here it is, folks: Game No. 82, the end of the regular-season line. All told, it really wasn’t such a bad ride, was it?