You'll be walking down the street in an nondescript part of town. Kansas City. No man's land. The sun isn't shining, but it ain't rainin' - at least - not yet. Water, or some unidentifiable liquid, drips from the fire escapes above your head and splash onto the pavement that hasn't dried but still isn't wet. Your hand will go to your pocket, to the mysterious piece of paper, an invitation. You'll read it again blindly; by now you've got it memorized.
Thursday, March 19th. Kansas City. Wear Orange.
You will immediately put the paper back in the pocket of your orange warmup, afraid that someone's spotted you. These four letter have haunted you since receiving the invite on Sunday. 7-seed facing a 10-seed. Shouldn't be a problem. You've trained for this. How tough could these "Wolverines" be anyways?
But doubt will start to creep into your head. You haven't had time to prepare, and these Wolverines fight in an unorthodox style, some sort of weird smothering zone you haven't seen. "No matter!" you'll say, as you continue to walk towards the meeting point, splashing through puddles that are starting to form as the rain picks up. You're Clemson. You won 16 straight. You're the higher seed. But that doubt doesn't go away. It just festers as you begin to argue with yourself. The streetlight glints off your shoulder holstered .45. If they want a fight, they'll get it.
You will arrive at the destination. 1100 Walnut Street. The rain has become a steady stream that sizzles the pavement around you. Each flash of lightening briefly illuminates the surroundings to daylight. "Daylight." During the day children play on these streets. At night, they belong to the madness. You will stand in the pale glow of the steaming street light and await your foe. Your hand drifts towards the .45.
A flash of lightening, and some movement. You'll reach for your piece, but it will be too late. You're smothered, baffled by this "1-3-1" attack. You'll fire some wild shots from long range, but come up mostly empty. There must be a way to loosen this defense, you'll think, and so you'll continue to fire wildly from distance, hoping to stretch them enough to get some penetration. It won't work. Eventually, you'll start to turn it over, frustrated by this mysterious zone.
That's when the Wolverines will go to work. They'll start by working the inside, freeing up Sims to land those hard body punches and back door cuts. You'll get tired and weak, and with each blow that's landed, the Wolverines will gain confidence. Then, as quickly as it started, it'll be over. You'll be left standing, clutching your battered side with your firearm out. You'll take a few more wild shots into the darkness before a flash of lightening illuminates a figure standing 20 feet, 9 inches from you. The assassin.
You'll hear the shots being fired from all around you. Sims, Novak, and Douglass. The snipers. There are just too many of them. Your mind will go blank, you'll drop to your knees. The one man, must be Harris, standing in front of you will raise his gun, his shadow cast upon the street around him and forming a permanent image behind your eyes. You'll see the flash, but you won't hear the shot that gets you. Ask UCLA. Ask Duke. Nobody ever does.