Lost amid the euphoria of Kansas University pulling off the cardiac comeback of the millennium to win its third NCAA basketball championship are two meaningful events that will take place Saturday.
First is the KU spring football game, which kicks off at 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, where Todd Reesing and friends will play a game for the first time since defeating Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl to complete a storybook 12-1 season.
Next, at 7 p.m., is the third annual "Dealing With Alzheimer's" Texas hold 'em benefit poker tournament at Alvamar Country Club. Last-minute walk-ups are welcome. Someone at the final table will win it all and earn a trip to Las Vegas. The suggested donation for poker participants is $100 and $25 for non-players. Novice poker players can attend a clinic from 6 to 7 p.m. for a suggested donation of $25.
The silent auction features, among other things, an autographed basketball from the national champions.
The benefit raises funds and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association (Heart of America Chapter). If enough such benefits take place, one day a cure can be found for the dreaded disease that robs the memory and personality, and slowly, cruelly turns an adult back into an infant.
If the family curse hits me before that cure is found, the day will come when I forget the highlights I witnessed from press row these past couple of weekends:
Mario "Big Shot" Chalmers putting extra arc on his game-tying three-pointer to make sure the ball avoided the hand of Derrick Rose.
Sherron Collins stealing the ball under the basket and then swishing a three-point shot from the right corner with 90 seconds left in regulation in the title game. In the blink of an eye, the ball went from Collins to Chalmers to Russell Robinson and then back to Collins.
The referees looking at the TV monitor and correcting an initial mistake, changing Derrick Rose's shot-clock-beating bank shot from three points to two. It turned out to be a pretty important point.
Roy Williams, sitting in the stands 10 rows or so behind the KU bench, wearing a Jayhawk sticker over his heart two nights after his team lost to KU.
Cole Aldrich, KU's fearless freshman center from Minnesota, tossing Tyler Hansbrough around as if he were some stuffed rag doll, instead of the National Player of the Year.
Bill Self, the picture of stress, watching the slow-motion flight of Jason Richards' three-point buzzer attempt from his knees and then falling forward when the shot died wide left, looking more relieved than happy.
For many who attend or attended KU, those memories will endure for as long as their minds stay clear.
My favorite memory was born when I was a senior in high school. I watched from the den of our Rochester, N.Y., home as Marquette defeated North Carolina in the 1977 title game, sitting alongside my father, who took calls from two of my brothers, then Marquette students, after the game. With fingers crossed, I hope I remember that until the day I die. Seven-plus years after that night, the effects of Alzheimer's began stealing my father's mind. Thirteen long years after that, he moved onto his eternal reward.
Let's ante up Saturday night.