My alma mater, the University of Louisville, secured a bid to the NCAA men's basketball Final Four with a nail-biter of a game, coming back from a 20-point deficit to secure a 93-85 overitme vctory.
After watching the seventh-seeded Mountaineers go on an unbelievable shooting skein through most of the first 35 minutes, Rick Pitino did one of the best jobs of his storied career, coaxing out the win and making history by becoming the first coach to take three programs to the national semis.
This one was about more than Pitino, though.
The fourth-seeded Cardinals (33-4) had every reason to pack it in during the first half, when the seventh-seeded Mountaineers (24-11) made 10 3-pointers in staking their 38-18 lead, the hoop looking as wide as the Shenandoah River back home.
Louisville pulled within arm's distance many times in the second half, but on every occasion, it would be Johannes Herber or Kevin Pittsnogle making a 3 to keep the Mountaineers ahead.
Not until O'Bannon, who finished with 24 points, slithered through the defense and made a layup with 38 seconds left did Louisville tie it at 77 -- the first tie since 3-all. And not until the overtime began did West Virginia finally start missing.
Led by a 3-pointer from Dean, who made seven and finished with 23 points, and four free throws by O'Bannon, the Cardinals opened it up in overtime.
I watched the game with The Girls and my mother, who was visiting for Easter dinner. The gamer got off to a rocky start, with the shots simply not dropping for the Cardinals. Too, whenever the Cards got close, the Mountaineers would reap the benefit of an absolutely phenomenal 3-point shooting streak. But the home team hung in there, and by the final minutes the momentum had definitely shifted. A last-second shot by the Cards with the score tied failed to drop and sent the game into OT. After that, the Cards pulled ahead enough to allow me to relax a bit. It was superb basketball, and it'll be a treat to see the home team in the Final Four again.
There isn't much to say about the Republican leadership's nauseating attempts to insert themselves into the sad case of Terri Schaivo, whose husband has been waging a lengthy legal battle to honor his wife's wish not to have her life artificially prolonged in a condition with no hope of recovery. But even more amazing and appalling than the Republicans' running roughshod over their own supposed values of federalism and marital integrity -- not to mention such crucial concepts as separation of powers -- is the fact that many of the arguments presented by those who would impose their will on this unfortunate woman are so utterly devoid of fact. (Unfortunately for them, as Digby points out, those who read liberal blogs are once again in the reality based community.)
It's a common thread in Republican policies, of course, but come on -- any position that needs this amount of dishonesty to advocate it simply has no merit. To make matters worse, Bush himself -- who claims to advocate "erring on the side of life" -- signed a Texas law that allows hospitals to disconnect even concious patients from life support if their ability to pay is in question, and support health benefit cuts that may make such an outcome inevitable. Fortunately, it appears, the American people aren't fooled by the Republicans' grandstanding -- not even evangelical Christians, this time -- even if the so-called "liberal media" posts misleading graphs that try to exaggerate the partisan differences.
It's hard to imagine any good emerging from this sorry spectacle, but I hold out hope that this blatant pandering to the releigious right may highlight the natural contradictions between the theocratic wing of the Republican party and its more libertarian branch. When George W. Bush interrupts his presidential vacation for the first time ever -- including after he received the infamous daily briefing in August, 2001 -- to sign legislation inserting the Federal government in this family's affairs, there can be no question how much influence the religious right holds with the GOP leadership.
Today was a memorial service for a little boy who attended the preschool where our three-year-old goes. Henry Bigelow, age 4˝, died Thursday from complications from choking on a vitamin last week, which caused him to stop breathing.
I didn't know Henry, and I don't know his parents well, although our symathies go out to them in this time of terrible tragedy. I'm terribly sorry for their loss, and can't imagine what they must have gone through in the time their boy was in the hospital, waiting to see if, or how badly, the lack of oxygen damaged his brain. More than once I've found myself looking at my daughters and grateful that they're healthy and happy.
Please take a moment to send some positive thoughts to the Bigelow family.