All the way from Memphis

Memphis’ 2008 trip to the Final Four has been “vacated,” the NCAA has ruled. So it’s as if it never happened. Wipe it from your memory. The NCAA says it’s all a blank. If they could get one of those mind eraser thingees from Men in Black, NCAA officials might be going coast to coast right now and knocking on the doors of everyone who watched the men’s basketball final two seasons ago.

But short of that occurrence, fans aren’t going to forget Derrick Rose and Co., regardless whether any of the victories officially count. So I wouldn’t bet on the media pretending as if the team never existed. Yes, Memphis must give money back, so that is a real penalty. However, in the real world beyond the NCAA offices, everyone is going to count Memphis’ Final Four appearance.

Let’s say the Tigers reach the national semifinals this coming season. Do you believe media reports will say it’s Memphis first trip to the Final Four since 1985? Well, no. How can we be sure? For one thing, when the Tigers reached in 2008, the stories said it was their first appearance in 23 years, but that 1985 Final Four also was vacated for rules violations, so we should have heard it was actually their first appearance since 1973.

We’ll sooner forget the Mott the Hoople classic from which this entry gets its title than anything the NCAA says we’re supposed to forget.

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