We interrupt this blog to discuss an entirely different educational institution.
I got the chance to catch the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos - a gaucho being apparently a scary hat, judging by their logo - defeat Northwestern 3-2 to make it to the Final Four last night. As the student body voted the football team out of existence in 1992, the soccer team can draw a serious crowd, even on a holiday weekend, and the team responded, coming back from a 2-1 deficit at the break to completely control the second half. Midfielder Tyler Rosenlund had all three goals for UCSB - three times the number he had before the game - off of great passing a numerous breakaways from his teammates. The Gauchos join Wake, Virginia and UCLA, who took down Duke today, in St. Louis for the championship.
Speaking of Duke, the student fans at Harder Stadium managed to pack more wit and enthusiasm into one game than I've seen out of Cameron in five years. From the specific (Northwestern primary threat Brad North was politely informed that "Chicks Wear Headbands") to the general ("Our Girls Are Hotter" and "Where's Your Beach" are popular) to the postmodern (a "Vamanos Gauchos, Vamanos" morphed into "We're Bilingual") it was better than anything the folks in Durham have produced since ESPN began glorifying them in the mid-90's.
And since ECU's defeat of N.C. State apparently broke the internet in half - both StateFans Nation and Red and White from State were offline today - I did them a favor and scouted the UCSB-N.C. State women's basketball game today. Bad news, Wolfpack, your team will still be in the basement of the ACC this year. The Pack barely escaped 64-55, against an undersized Gaucho team with absolutely no outside shot. It took State until the second half to get a rebounding advantage on either end of the ball, and they were for the most part outhustled and outdriven by a Big West team. Against the bigger, more talented, Tar Heels, Terps and Blue Devils, you guys don't stand a chance.