The third thing that sticks out is the overall interest in the tournament despite the absence of any Mankato teams. East, West and Loyola all failed to qualify for this year's competition but nearly 7,500 fans still came out to watch the best in the state do their thing.
Few left disappointed as the tournament included numerous extra-inning games and plenty of upsets of high-powered schools getting knocked off by unranked teams. The Class AAA title game couldn't have been closer or more exciting and there wasn't a Cougar, a Scarlet or a Crusader in sight.
Jim Rueda is The Free Press sports editor. He can be reached at 507-344-6381 or firstname.lastname@example.org