A blow-by-blow, play-by-play national title account

Zach Eisendrath

On Monday, my excitement level was through the roof. It was opening day of the baseball season, WrestleMania 23 had just concluded and the NCAA college basketball National Championship was to be decided that night.

And with all that hullabaloo in a 24-hour span, writing a running diary of Florida vs. Ohio State during the first night of the Jewish holiday Passover was too good to … pass over.

8:02: The game won’t start for at least 20 minutes, so instead of watching the pregame, I’m doing what any normal sports nut would do: watching WWE Monday Night Raw!

8:03: The champ is here … WWE Champion John Cena enters the ring.

8:06: My roommate Danny is passed out on the couch next to me. If he ever wakes up, he will be my wingman throughout the night.

8:11 After a commercial during wrestling, I switch to the CBS pregame show in time to hear analysts Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis both pick the Gators to win. Best news of the night! I have the Buckeyes winning it all in two pools, and throughout history I’ve found that the “experts” are usually wrong.

8:13: Danny just woke up. Looks like I won’t be talking to myself after all. His first words? “I’m sweating.”

8:21: Starters for both teams are being announced alternately.

Now I’m giddy. My hometown NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks, is tanking their season away for a top lottery pick, and Florida juniors Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah would look great in red and green. Ohio State’s Mike Conley wouldn’t be bad either. And do I dare utter the name … Greg Oden … without jinxing the team?

8:23: As the ball is tipped, Danny looks at me, stunned, and says, “Didn’t these two teams Ö” He can’t continue.

I confirm to him that, yes, these two teams also met in the college football national title game, too.

8:27: Three and a half minutes into the game Danny says, “Noah looks exhausted.” Two seconds later, CBS announcer Billy Packer says, “Noah looks exhausted, Jim.”

8:30 Best commercial of the night, in my opinion, hits the air.

A man is taking a bath with a sponge on his head when his wife walks into the bathroom. He stands up, naked, and says “I’m SpongeBob NoPants.” Somehow it is a Burger King commercial. How many people will be going to Madison as this guy for Halloween next year?

8:32: I quickly flip to wrestling to see Shawn Michaels throw his tag team partner over the top rope, meaning new Tag Team Champions will be decided!

Danny shakes his head that I’m watching wrestling over the national title game.

8:53: Back to the game, and shockingly Ohio State is trailing in the first half of an NCAA tournament game.

It seems like the Buckeyes have done this every game during their Final Four run. I might need some Pepcid AC pretty soon.

9:05: Halftime has arrived. I tell Danny I wish we had two TVs in the front room so I could watch the championship game and wrestling.

9:06: That sparked a brilliant idea. Danny just permanently moved his TV from his room into the living room!

9:31: The second half is underway and Oden is dominating every time he gets the ball inside. He already has 17 points! How come they don’t give him the ball every offensive possession? I’m outraged!

9:36 Florida senior Lee Humphrey hits a three from at least five feet beyond the arc. That’s the dagger … even with 10 minutes left.

9:48 Wait, maybe I was wrong. The Buckeyes won’t go away – they cut the lead to six! Good thing I went camping because this game is in tents!

9:54 Horford starts a Florida fast break by stealing the ball. He runs down the court for a dunk. The play of the night.

10:12: The Buckeyes can’t hit a three to save their lives. They were the most consistent three-point shooting team all year, and that’s why I picked them to win it all. Of course, now they are 3 of 18 from behind-the-arc!

10:31: The Gators win 84-75 and repeat as National Champions.

Noah goes to hug his mom after the win, but my roommates think it is his girlfriend. She looks less than 30.

“That’s the kind of mom you see when your dad is a tennis star,” Danny said.

10:32: I come up with a great idea. As the Gators are celebrating, wouldn’t it be great to combine my wrestling knowledge with the game? Reports have been circulating that Kentucky will offer Florida coach Billy Donovan its head coaching vacancy (thank you, Tubby) as soon as the game is over.

What if Donovan already had an under-the-table deal confirmed, and, during the post-game interview, he ripped off his tie, opened his dress shit, only to reveal a Kentucky jersey under it? It would be like when Hulk Hogan joined the nWo!

And Jim Nantz would go nuts: “Oh my God, he’s going to Lexington! It’s the biggest swerve in collegiate basketball history! I’m stunned!”

April Fools’ Day should be every day of the month.