In Trey Schwab's perfect world, Marquette will beat Kansas on Saturday and either Texas or Syracuse on Monday to win the national championship, return to Milwaukee for a parade on Tuesday and then his cell phone will buzz Wednesday with the best news of all: that a matching lung has been found for the Marquette assistant coach to receive a life-saving transplant.
"That's how the dream goes," Schwab said this afternoon as the Golden Eagles continued preparations for Saturday's national semifinal against Kansas, the school's biggest game in 26 years.
Schwab, 38, received a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that hinders the lungs from processing oxygen into the bloodstream, 15 months ago. While he sits on the bench, Schwab gets a steady flow of oxygen from a portable canister.
Of course, the reality is that the cell phone Schwab keeps in his front pocket could start vibrating at any time. As soon as a perfect match is located, doctors want him to be at a Madison, Wis., hospital in two hours, three at the most. It was thought that because of the distance from New Orleans to Madison, Schwab would be unable to attend the Final Four.
However, Schwab said today he was able to secure a charter plane that will remain available throughout the weekend, ready to take off on a moment's notice. Schwab thinks, if necessary, he could make the trip in 1 hour 45 minutes.
Holladays Wait and Worry
Kansas assistant coach Joe Holladay also will be awaiting a phone call, but for a different reason.
Holladay's son, Matt, is a captain with the 173rd Airborne that is believed to be somewhere in Iraq. It has been nearly three weeks since the 28-year-old West Point graduate phoned his parents. He last called on March 17, two days after the Big 12 tournament. He could not say when or where he was heading, but Captain Holladay told his parents he was buying extra deodorant, artificial skin and assorted sundries and they could infer from that what they wanted.
Although he has not talked to his son, Joe Holladay believes that he saw Matt on television, opening an airplane door so that other members of his unit could jump out and parachute into northern Iraq.
"It was the night-vision and it was dark and green; maybe that's a dad's or mom's moment, but it sure looked like the back of my son," said Holladay, who keeps his son's picture in his shirt pocket.
Going to the Final Four for the second consecutive season has been a thrill, he said, but his elation has been tempered. "You try to balance that a little bit with the worry you have over the war," he said.
Missouri Coaches Banned
Missouri Coach Quin Snyder and assistant Lane Odom were temporarily banned by the athletic department from recruiting because they violated NCAA rules that limit coaches to calling a recruit once a week, sports information director Chad Moller said. Both suspensions have been served. . . .
Kentucky's Tubby Smith and Xavier's David West were honored as Associated Press coach and player of the year. . . .
Wright State hired Ohio State assistant Paul Biancardi as its head coach, giving him a five-year contract.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.