OK, so this is a personal rant. Read at your own discretion. The Rio Grande Valley Vipers just won the 2010 D-League championship. Congratulations to them, but they just drove a stake through my heart as well.
I entered the NBA D-League's 2010 "choose your own" Twitter contest. The rules were simple. Prior to the start of the playoffs, you had to tweet your picks for the D-League finals, who would win and the score of the decisive game. I had Rio Grande Valley over Tulsa in a 221-point finale.
As it turned out, only one other person had RGV vs. Tulsa in the finals. He or she had a final score of just 167 points. I'm not yet sure who that other person was, but I wonder if they were glued to the computer screen as I was, stuck watching a periodically updating box score with the game only being broadcast on tape delay on Versus and not streamed live via FutureCast.
If you do the math between our predictions, I needed the total to be 189 points or greater. The other person needed 187 or less. I was feeling pretty confident heading into the game, but the fluke was on. These were the same two teams that combined for 231 points in Game 1. Yet somehow, they had just 131 heading into the fourth, leaving me to root for one of these three outcomes.
Down the stretch it looked like they might actually make a run at the 189-point mark, but defenses stiffened down the stretch and the game was tied at 91 with 8 seconds left, Vipers ball. A stop from Tulsa and the game goes into overtime where all I would have needed was 9 combined points to cross the threshold. As fate would have it, Vipers guard Craig Winder beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer that won the D-league championship for Rio Grande Valley while simultaneously losing the contest for me...BY A MERE FOUR POINTS.
To put that into perspective, these teams combined to miss 96 shots in the game. Ninety-six! If they would've made two of those 96 and shot just 44.7 percent from the field, I would have won the contest. The teams combined to miss eight free throws. Convert on just half of those misses and I'd be in the winner's circle. Or, if Winder's shot misses and the game goes into overtime, I'm sitting pretty for a prize with an RGV win or a retry if Tulsa were to win.
Instead, I'm left to write this blathering blog post pining about what coulda-shoulda-woulda been had there just been a few more points. Four points to be exact. Of course, had I just predicted a 106-101 finale, this post never would have had to happen. Bummer.