Sunday, March 30, 2008
Brethren: We Sports Brethren have a pretty close connection to the Davidson community. The Cap't was a Florida boy who rocked the Davidson, NC, campus back in the late 60s/early 70s and one of my best friends did the same the past four years. These close ties have made me extremely connected to this March Madness ride that Stephen Curry and Co. have taken us on.
And, man, what a ride.
That's what I'm choosing to remember about the past few weekends of basketball. Not the questionable last play selection, not the fact that big bad Goliath eventually won out, not that a boring Final Four of all #1 seeds is what we've got. I'm going to remember the fact that alumni and friends of Davidson packed a Murray Hill bar in Manhattan to its gills on a glorious Friday night and Sunday afternoon. That this crowd cried out its hokey "Daaaave-iiiiddd-sooooon" cheer and adopted "Sweet Caroline" for a glorious three weeks. The fact that the media fell in love with this
team, with this school. That Dell Curry is back in my life so notably. That LeBron James wishes he had a Stephen Curry on his team. That Jason Richards is the player I honestly wish I could have become (seriously -- Friday night, against the Big Ten champs, he had 11 points, 13 assists, and zero turnovers -- in my head, that's the kind of the stat line the point guard I always believed I would become would produce in March on an Elite Eight team). That on a Sunday night, I'm extremely sad it's over.
Davidson, you have the basketball team we all wish we had -- and for that, I am extremely grateful. More sentimentalities and Wildcat lurve, desde:
Brethren (cont'd): I think the phrase I used the most this weekend was, "That's just absurd! This is ridiculous!" I said it mainly to my buddy, Steve, who wrote about his excitement on this here sports blog when the Cats made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
Because, honestly, what else can you say?
This 1700-person school did some amazing stuff this weekend. Don't let their heroic -- nay, tragic -- loss on this Sunday afternoon diminish what they accomplished. They dominated Wisconsin -- a team from a school 20 times their size. They shot, what, 54%? When you're used to watching basketball and seeing teams shoot 35-45%, and then you see a team shoot 54% for an entire game, it seems like they're making every basket. It's unreal. I feared looking at the really cute girl I met at the bar Friday night while I was talking to her, because fuck, I didn't want to miss anything!
But it's really beyond their amazing run of basketball that's the legacy this team will leave behind. They've helped shine some light on a really good school that produces top-notch people. In my native Southern tongue, quite simply, Davidson is good people.
They played so well. They smiled. They inspired. And even if the second half slipped away and they heroically fought the good fight, I'm not going to let that asterisk this weekend. I understand Kansas won today, but for me, the 2008 NCAA Tournament belongs to Davidson.
Thanks, Davidson. Thanks, Bryant Barr, Jason Richards, Bob McKillop, and of course, Stephen Curry.
I remember why I'm a fan.
Nacho: North Carolina's a little like Florida, where even the ones that don't make the big programs can still go toe to toe with all comers. Like South Florida this past football season.
What Stephen Curry did over these past two weeks will probably inspire a handful of kids to shoot another 50 J's during practice, which means in, like 7 years, college basketball's gonna be wikid amazing.