I Alone

Two things hit me as I sat in the Siegel Center earlier this afternoon.

VCU played, and defeated, Georgia State, 67-54, in a game that started at noon. On a Tuesday. Five days before Christmas. The game was moved to this date and this time to accommodate both ESPNs Bracket Busters and the Siegel Center being booked for a high school tournament this evening.

The two items:

First, and it took me awhile to get to this, is that this game was eerily similar to the noon opening round game of the conference tournament. There was but a smattering of fans. The building felt cold and not just in temperature. The atmosphere created by VCU is one of, if not the, best in the conference. But not today. It was like a minor league hockey game.

Both teams came out with little intensity. The better team looked to be on cruise control, and the visitor was hanging in there and really controlling the game. Still, there was no real upset feel. (That never comes until teh second half. We’ll get to that in a moment.) It’s difficult to describe, but if you’ve ever been to the Nooner tipoff for a conference tournament game, you know what I’m talking about.

What effort Georgia State could muster was more than VCU was prepared to handle, and thus the Panthers shot out to a 17-point lead. VCU managed a late half run and Alexander Harper’s three got the deficit to nine, 38-29.

I’m sure Jeff Capel’s haltime “discussion” wasn’t for the feint of heart. VCU came out of the locker room flying, catching GSU at 40-40 and pulled away from there.

But the end of point one is that the home folks were a bit restless in the chairs, but I never got the sense anyone smelled an upset. Once VCU pulled to about 39-36, the feeling was that it was a matter of time.

And the building, just like in the tournament, warmed up.

Point #2: boy, do we all overanalyze sometimes. As I mentioned, I was trying to get a feel for the game and the building and couldn’t figure it out. At one point, VCU was shooting about 25% and GSU about 55%. GSU led by 12. Late in the second half, the shooting percentages had evened out…each team was hovering around 40%. VCU had caught up and was leading by five.

And it hit me: just put the ball in basket more times than your opponent.

***

TONIGHT I’m headed over to the Robins Center to see ODU play Richmond. I’ll be on press row, hopefully with a wireless connection.

If technology permits, I plan to keep a running blog covering the game, and spice in some of the questions that hit you and me during games…stay tuned…

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~ by mglitos on December 20, 2005.

2 Responses to “I Alone”

  1. correct you were mgl….ODU needs to redeem the conference (and more importantly themselves) at UAB tomorrow. Should be a completely different game with UAB pressing and wanting the score in the 80s or 90s.

  2. “The atmosphere created by VCU is one of, if not the, best in the conference.”

    I do beleive that some UNCW fans would beg to differ….

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