The beauty of sports is that sometimes, you never know what you’re going to get.
Sometimes, the heaviest of favorites gets dropped like Clubber Lang was by Rocky Balboa or the Patriots were in last year’s Super Bowl by New York’s beloved men in blue.
As Chris Berman is fond of saying, “That’s why we play the game.” You never know what the outcome could be. Upsets are part of the landscape and when it happens, it’s a great feeling. It gives the average Joe hope – hope that he too could one day win, whether it be in life, on the field, or get to date the hot girl.
Then, other times, the 1,000 pound gorilla in the room is exactly that – the beast that no one can get around. It is the 1985 Chicago Bears pounded the living daylights out of the Patriots. It is the Larry Johnson UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, capping the perfect season with a 30-point route in the NCAA Final. It is Obama in a landslide of McCain. It is the hot girl saying no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no times infinity to any of your advances forever.
Sometimes, it is the JV Spartans coasting through the AAA Division of Dream League.
With a 65-44 conquering of TSIVOS, JVS took the throne from the defending champions to cap a perfect season – one in which they never won a game by less than double digits – unless you count that 1-0 forfeit win they had over TLC-B.
To say they ruled this season would be like saying The Sopranos were ruled by James Gandolfini’s character, Tony.
Uh, no duh. And with an iron fist!
So dominant was JVS that they won all 12 of their games on the season by an average of over 20 points. They led the AAA in scoring at 60.1 ppg (the 2nd highest scoring team was the Scrappin Squirrels at 53.8) and they had the 2nd best defense, allowing just 39.3 ppg (WCAS allowed only 35.2 ppg, but when they met head to head, JVS trounced them 66-25 – ouch.)
JV Spartans: L to R - Woo Chung Lee, Jonathan Lim, Danny Lee, Mark Lee, James Choi, Dan Lee.
It was complete and utter domination and all of it came out on display in the Final in the 4th quarter.
Gamely, and with the heart of a champion, TSIVOS executed a flawless game plan in the Final with one small problem. They only did it for 3 quarters.
Last we checked, the game consists of 4 frames and while TSIVOS probably surprised JVS, the arena, and even themselves by holding a 38-37 lead at the end of 3, they had to do it for 5 more quarters before they could rightfully say the chip was staying right were it already was – in their corner.
They had to do it 5 more times because JVS held a loss to give with the double elim format, and perhaps with the thought of having to go through 45 more excruciating minutes of flawless basketball while trying to contain the likes of Danny Lee and Mark Lee (no relation, we don’t think), Old School got tired of school and gave up.
Actually, the proud champs would never throw in the towel. No, the JV Spartans had something to do with their hopes for an upset.
The 1,000 pound gorilla (or hot girl, whichever you prefer to compare them to) suddenly remembered they were 1,000 pounds (or really hot) and used their super power assets and turned this game around in a jiffy.
They were the team who had been averaging 60 points a game.
They were the team who had been winning on average by 20 points.
They were the team who were on the cusp of perfection all season long.
To lose it now would be, well…
Ping! Ping! Two quick 3-point swishes by James Choi and D Lee to trigger an 11-2 run started to bend the Old School backbone. D Lee’s 5th triple of the game at the 3:14 mark cracked it. And then Mark Lee’s “dunk” (he snapped the rim, scored the basket, but didn’t put it in clean) broke it. When the 4th quarter dust had cleared, JVS had hung a 28-6 frame on TSIVOS to make like this game was a blowout from the beginning.
Everything OS had done for 3 quarters was lost. They were left flat-footed, shell-shocked, whimpering for the midtown halal truck, and reluctantly, but obediently, handed the title over to the Spartans who are anything but JV.
Mark’s mad 25 points led the way, but for his overall season’s brilliance, D Lee (18 pts, 10 boards, 4 stls, his 7th double double) was named MVP on the spot.
End to end, from the top of the season to the final quarter of the last game, the JV Spartans were as impressive as any team we’ve ever seen.
The beauty of sports is that sometimes, you know exactly what you’re going to get.