Thursday, February 28, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
It wouldn’t be too farfetched to wonder if John Calipari called up Bill Belichik and asked for some consoling words after Saturday’s game at the FedEx Forum. Of course, we are spoofing here, but let’s face it, both of these were super games with super hype.
Both working with perfect seasons. And perfect records. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turned out in both instances, just about everything!
While there were hopes dashed from one end of the nation to the other, one has to take into account what both of these meant to the sports world. And specifically in the case of the CUSA versus SEC contest. Think both of these two Division I school’s stock hasn’t soared as a result?
The Memphis Tigers owned the national first-place ranking, and the longest home court winning streak in the NCAA. They have been playing down-to-the-grit, intend-to-win, basketball the entire season. They removed the “Fluke and Flake” connotations which had been ascribed to them in the post-Finch and pre-Calipari eras.
Their SEC rivals in this game, the Tennessee Volunteers, came into town with all their muskets, ready to make history of their own. The Vols have never before achieved the number one ranking in the nation. However, it was surmised by just about everybody that when the computers stopped humming on Monday the Vols would be number one and the Tigers would be number two.
Once again I must state that yours truly hitched his wagon to the wrong horse. Again the impossible became possible. Like many in the Marshall County area, I was at the other big, high-profile game on Saturday evening at H.W. Byers school.
After seeing the Lady Lions defeat arch-rival Belmont in the North Half championship game, and arriving home to hear that the Tigers were three points ahead with three minutes left, I was sure that it was in the bag.
Wrong bag holder.
Anyway, everyone wins on this one – the city, the teams, the state and the fans.
Let’s put the Tigers in the SEC and watch these more often.
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