I'm up in Atlanta for the Final Four. Last year, I flew from Dallas to Gainesville to watch the games with my buddies. As soon as the tourney was over, I started pricing Final Four tickets for 2007 and making plans to get to ATL for the games. Being in Gainesville was awesome, but there's nothing like actually being there.
So, I'm "there" and it's awesome. Before the tourney, I had us as 50/50 to repeat (that seems conservative, but I thought it was pretty generous considering we were only 1/65 of the field). Now? I'd say we're about 4-to-1 to repeat (and I feel that's pretty conservative). We looked really good tonight, and we seem to be up for almost any challenge. Since we already beat OSU (yeah, they're a different, more mature team now, but we've improved a lot too) by 26 in December, I feel pretty confident we can do it again.
Billy D. to UK? Not a chance.
Billy D. isn't going anywhere. He'll "think" about it for a few days, but then he'll announce he's happy in Gainesville and he's enjoying being a part of such a promising program that is still growing. He'll talk about how great it is for his family in Gainesville, and he'll hint that it would be nice to have some better facilities for the team. He won't turn down the contract extension this time, either.
UK essentially just canned a very, very good coach who has had a rough few years. Any coach can have a few bad years (we were out of the tourney after the first weekend five years in a row), and I think UK overreacted. Billy walks on water in Gainesville, and he'll have a pass for several years, regardless of what happens. Why move to a town where expectations are so high and patience is so low? Most importantly, I think, why would Billy leave a dynasty that he is currently creating to try and revive a dying dynasty in Lexington?
One more game
I've been saying for a while that this team will go down as one of the best ever... but only if they repeat. This team has five thousand-point scorers, potentially something like six or seven future NBA players, three SEC championships, tons of school and NCAA records, two Final Four appearances and, so far, one Championship. If they get the win on Monday, they'll be considered one of the best NCAA teams ever. I'm trying to enjoy every game I see because it's going to be a long, long time before we see this kind of team with this kind of talent again.
I should mention that Chris Richard would probably be starting at 95% of the schools in the country. He's been consistently improving this year and has really turned it on in the post-season. He's included in the "...six or seven future NBA players..." I mentioned earlier. I don't think he'll be drafted, but I think he'll be picked up by somebody, and he'll be a solid contributor off the bench.
It's great to be a Florida Gator.