Was This Weekend the Start of (Another) Dream Season?

So I’m standing just inside the door of the Coach outlet on Saturday afternoon. Maybe it was lululemon or one of those other specialty stores your Significant Other shops where you know the name but are about 73% certain of what they actually sell. I’m dutifully following George Mason on The G1, and the final score comes across the screen: Vermont 79, George Mason 78.

Crap.

The first thought that went through my mind, admittedly, was that it may be a long year. We were coming off a Friday that saw The Tribe and The Pride not compete in tests against Big Conference foes. Georgia State lost in OT to Bowling Freaking Green, and The Dub needed Chad Tomko’s head to blow off to erase a big second half deficit and nip Appy State in OT in Trask.

And after considering Nor’easter’s egg against Michigan, I began to buy the notion that this wasn’t going to be that year. But later that night the Huskies beat Providence. On Sunday VCU took apart The Citadel like they should have, with preseason second teamer Larry Sanders scoring as many points as I did.

ODU slipped past Charlotte on the road, and that was big. Hofstra won its second Tightie behind Chuckie Jenkins. And it hit me again.

Stop being so damn dramatic.

It forced me to look up the past two seasons’ OOC results. It was two weeks into last season before a CAA team defeated a Big Conference foe (Mason over Kansas State). Two weeks after that, VCU defeated Maryland. Two seasons ago, it was 10 days into the year when ODU blitzed Georgetown at McDonough. Then it was a long time until Drexel took down Villanova.

The pace is better this season. At least I think so. One of these wins will be this year’s version JMU beating Siena. So the more we get, the better the chances. How good is it if Vermont wins the AE? Western Michigan the MAC? ETSU the Southern?

Nor’easter getting thumped by Michigan or Hofstra being tatered by Clemson isn’t exactly news. In fact, that’s what’s supposed to happen. Repeat after me: success is winning the close ones, don’t lose what you shouldn’t lose, and steal a handful of PR Games.

And that’s the rollercoaster we’re on. The importance is that when you get to season’s end, an OOC ledger of 70-62 is far more than eight games better than 62-70. It’s a mindset thing. Even if the  specific games are forgettable, the cumulative effect of a mark in the left-hand column when it just as easily could’ve been in the right-hand column is significant.

Let’s pretend in middle March ODU is on that thing produced when you chew gum and exhaust air into a flat section. Computers will see a road win against a top 100 team. They won’t see that Jonathan Adams, who has made 36 career threes coming into the season, swished one from the new distance with five seconds to play.

So when I say Dream Season, I’m not talking crazy talk. George Mason’s run, to be honest, was a Black Swan. But a season chock full of tight, fun basketball games in which the CAA wins? And, gasp, a second bid? Yeah, that.

Personally, I’m hopeful.

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~ by mglitos on November 17, 2008.

One Response to “Was This Weekend the Start of (Another) Dream Season?”

  1. And you eventually found out that Mason actually beat Vermont, right?

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