This evening will be the end of the line for another men's basketball season, with the National Champion crowned in Indianapolis, probably a little before 8:30 PM PDT, on CBS.
And the champion will be a surprise, as Kentucky was the odds on favorite against the field to take the crown.
That plan went off the rails Saturday afternoon, when Wisconsin (36-3), the B1G Ten Champions upset Big Blue to avenge their 1 point loss in to the Wildcats in last year's semifinal, and advance to the NCAA Championship for the 2nd time, and the first since 1941. These are the same Badgers that eliminated Oregon both this year and last, and also knocked Pac-12 Champion Arizona out last weekend.
Standing in the way is a familiar foe, and another one of the literal as well as figurative Blue Bloods, Duke (34-4). The Blue Devils also already have a 10 point win over Wisconsin, back in early December, and it was in Madison.
The countless Oregon St. & Pac-12 ties to the Badgers, and general nationwide dislike of Duke, might make Wisconsin the Pac-12 fan routing favorite, but one way or another, its bound to be another fitting lead in to the celebration of the just completed series of a countless number of shining moments.
There will still be a few more the next night, though, when the overall top seed of the women's tournament, Connecticut (37-1) tries to not only defend their championship against one last threat, Notre Dame (36-2), in Tampa, but go for a 3-peat.
The Irish eaked in to the 5:30 PM PDT rematch of last year's title game on ESPN with a 1 point win, while the Huskies rolled by 23. But then no one has come within 20 points of UConn in the tournament, so maybe Kentucky never should have been seen as the best bet to take home a trophy. That tournament run of blowouts extends back to last year, as last year's title game was a 21 point win over Notre Dame.
And to close the book on the Pac-12 season, NIT version, the UCLA women joined the Stanford men in taking NIT titles this post-season. Are you ready for the new slogan on the Pac-12 Network, "The Conference of Consolation Champions!"?