By Tessa Jackson

Downieville local and, I can only assume, a loyal reader, Don Potter caught me at the school field recently not knowing who Saint Peter’s is. Anyone who’s been following the March madness tournament knows who Saint Peter’s is. And it’s true, I have not been watching the tournament this year. What can I say, I guess life just got in the way.

For the rest of you who don’t know, Saint Peter’s was this year’s Cinderella story of the tournament, the team that busted everyone’s bracket. The Saint Peter’s Peacocks, from Jersey City, New Jersey, a small school of about 2,400 kids, the 15th seeded team, took out the well known, No. 2 seeded Kentucky, and for what I’m sure will be remembered as the best 11 days of their lives, the Peacocks made a run all the way to the Elite Eight of the tournament.

Unfortunately, the basketball universe realigned itself and they were blown out by North Carolina to miss the Final Four. Speaking of the Final Four, we all still have time to catch those games this Saturday, when No. 2 Duke plays No. 8 North Carolina, and No. 2 Villanova takes on No. 1 Kansas. The Finals will take place on Monday. The women’s Final Four will take place this Friday, with two No. 1 seeds, South Carolina vs. Louisville, and No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 2 Connecticut. The Finals for the women’s tournament will be on Sunday.

I did, however, have time to make it a Sacramento Kings game this year. My first game since the pandemic, and it was so fun. On Sunday, March 20, the Kings hosted the Phoenix Suns, the team with the best record in the league. I was nervous, because the Suns had already clinched the playoffs, there would be a chance we wouldn’t see much playing time for their star, Devin Booker. Yes, I am a Kings fan, but I was most looking forward to seeing Booker. I’m happy to report that not only did I get to see Devin Booker play for 37 minutes, the Kings actually made a game of it. The Kings were ahead at half time 59-49, until Booker dropped 19 points in the third quarter (I guess I asked for that.) The fourth quarter was so close, within two points for either team almost the whole time and the game ended up in overtime.

The Kings kept it close the whole time but couldn’t pull out the win, even after Booker, JaVale McGee, and Deandre Ayton fouled out of the game; the Kings lost 127-124. Well, the Kings aren’t going to make the playoffs anyway, so it wasn’t a huge disappointment, and I was just happy I got to see such a great game.

Kings rookie point guard, Davion Mitchell, scored a career high 28 points with nine assists and there were seven Kings players who scored in double digits.

If you haven’t gone to a game at Golden 1 Center yet, you need to. You would think this team was a Finals contender by the way their fan base shows up for them. The arena was a full with a crowd full of enthusiasm. Since the NBA regular season still has a little less than two weeks left, you still have time to catch the Kings at home against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday April 3, and the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday April 5. Maybe next year will be our year!

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