This whole thought process began in my brain when I read a tweet from The BoardRoom guys several weeks ago. If you don't know The BoardRoom, that's our basketball podcast around here. The thought stuck in my head so much that I sent them a text to find out who had tweeted it because I wanted that person to get full credit. (It was Josh.)

Here's the tweet (on April 2nd, so this was only a few days after the UConn loss):

That tweet joined another tidbit of information locked away in a certain compartment in my brain. That tidbit (and apologies to this person because I can't find who sent it to me) was someone telling me to look up the 2026 NCAA Tournament sites. Remember our path in 2005? Indianapolis ▶️ Chicago ▶️ St. Louis? Well, in 2026, if we could secure a top seed and get placed in the Midwest bracket, the path would be:

St. Louis ▶️ Chicago ▶️ Indianapolis

When two thoughts join like that – I didn't do very well in science class but I think it has something to do with mitochondria – I label the container in my brain with a Sharpie. For this one I wrote "2026 Final Four" because it's fun to think like that.

I know that for some of you it's not fun to think like that. But I just spent an entire season urging you to not miss it and I fear that many of you who responded with "don't say these things out loud - what if they don't happen?" missed some of it. So I'm offering you a second chance to "think like that."

As the last three weeks of Portal insanity have transpired, I gotta tell you, all I've done is put things in that 2026 box. It's all I can see at the moment. I feel like there's a master plan on a white board in Ubben somewhere that says "what if the next build was two-year plan to reach the 2026 Final Four?" (I'm sure they have a better title than that. Putting it on the white board as a question would be dumb.)

I mean, just look at this list of transfers the last four years: