Checklist: paper, project, exam, finished. I'm sure you've made a similar list in your head, eagerly awaiting beach week, graduation or summer. Congratulations. You've almost reached the finish line.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Though I hope his grammar won't be landing in your final English paper, I think Yogi Berra said it best when he coined the phrase, "It ain't over 'til it's over."

Go ahead. Check those items off your list, but finish strong.

Sunday night, the Celtics won game one of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs in the last 11.6 seconds. Ahead by 12 going into the half, perhaps the Knicks forgot that the game "ain't over 'til it's over." Carmelo Anthony certainly may have; he got a lot of flak for his performance in game one, particularly in the second half when he missed 10 of 11 shots.

Though we all have our off-days, it is imperative to maintain a consistent mentality even when the end is drawing near.

And then sometimes you have to realize that your best isn't good enough.

Anthony redeemed himself in game two with 42 points and 17 rebounds, but the Knicks were left shorthanded without Chauncey Billups and Amar'e Stoudmire. Though the Knicks lost, Anthony's decidedly one-man show was impressive to say the least. And there's still five more games for the Knicks to prove, "It ain't over 'til it's over."

If you're concerned that your GPA is slipping away before your eyes, remember: it's just one grade or one test, and then you've got to move on to the next thing.

My dad has this Nike t-shirt that says, "There is no finish line." Learning, hard work, that never stops. Whether you're finishing up your first year of college or graduating, these next couple of weeks are only one of many finish lines.

If you're the dedicated Collegian fans I know you are, I'm sure you read my column a while ago about loving the battle. That's the great thing about Richmond students. We really love being here. It's not about crossing the finish line for us Spiders. No one wants to leave this place, no matter how much work is heaped upon us (and we love the work part, too!).

The Knicks, the Celtics, and all other professional basketball teams feel the same way, too. There is no finish line for them. The point of playing isn't about approaching a means to an end. Otherwise, Melo, Shaq and others wouldn't be playing basketball for a living.

So be careful with those checklists and counting down the days, because it ain't over. It's never over.

In sports, the final buzzer is only a moment of glory or defeat. Soon enough both winners and losers are practicing hard again preparing for what comes next: whether it's a championship or next season. We are all in search of that "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," and with a little luck of the Irish, the Celtics just might be the ones to find it.

As we all depart for the summer, I know we are all thankful to friends, teammates, professors and advisors who gave us that final push. The race goes on....