In college hoops, it would be time for Billy Packer (a.k.a. The Joe Theismann of college basketball). In the 2006 Shirt Cup Presented By F.C. Camena ™, it just means we’re down to the final four entries. The quarterfinals were well attended, and while all the competitors were certainly game, class won out in each matchup. The Cote D’Ivoire continued their remarkable run by ousting the inventors of the game. USA showed their strength and sent Togo packing, though the newcomers have nothing to be ashamed of. Argentina demonstrated why they’re the kings of South America (and vertical stripes) by defeating Paraguay, and Croatia coasted against the Ukraine.
With only four teams remaining, our voters have some tough choices. Will we see an all-Nike final (USA v Croatia)? Will the orange elephants from Africa continue their run to greatness? Or will the Argies’ class win out?
The semifinals beckon:
Cote D’Ivoire v USA
Both of these teams are surely proud to have made it this far. They’ve emerged from tough groups, bested traditional powers, and won hard-fought elimination matches. But only one can make it through to the final. Will it be the USA and their single stripe, or the watermarked orange elephants from West Africa?
Argentina v Croatia
This matchup is almost too tough to call. While it’s tough to knock the checkerboard from the Balkans, the sky blue and white stripes of the Argies are the tournament’s remaining nod to class and tradition. And only one will progress.