For the last several weeks, my colleagues on the PAC-10 television package and I have been saying that the 2009 version of the tournament could be one of the best in recent memory. The strength of competition was so good all season that we believed as many as seven teams were capable of winning the tournament. And that belief turned out to be right on the mark.
Since the tournament was reinstated in 2002, every winner had been either a 1, 2 or 3 seed, except for 2007 when Oregon claimed the title as a 5 seed. This year, USC did the Ducks one better by winning the championship as a 6 seed.
But it wasn't just that the Trojans made an incredible run to the title that made this year's tournament so good. The real dramatics were in the individual games.
You saw superstar players (James Harden, Jordan Hill, et al) put together superstar performances.
You saw some of the best coaches in all of college basketball (Tim Floyd, Herb Sendek, et al) devise impeccable game plans.
And you saw a championship game that displayed the drama that makes March Madness one of the best sports events of the year.
The PAC-10 couldn't have asked for more!