When In The Course of Human Events…

The thought struck me yesterday that tomorrow marks exactly one month from the tipoff of the CAA tournament. It was a wow moment for several reasons, and I was saving the note for, well, tomorrow.

But after last night, well, wow.

It is time you began making travel plans for this year’s grindapalooza. As I wrote a friend this morning, saying the tournament may be interesting and crazy is a little like saying the sun may be hot.

Put another way: an in-the-know feels that two teams that win on Friday will also win on Saturday. And after last night, Sunday too.

***

An old coach once said that most of rebounding is done before the shot hits the rim. The point was that there is intelligence in obtaining position, effort in establishing position, and willpower in grabbing the basketball once it hits the rim.

UNCWs victory over VCU comes down to one statistic for me: total rebounds. The Dub essentially won that battle, 35-34. The Rams manhandled the Hawks by 15 boards earlier in the season, and UNCW has only outboarded two conference foes this year prior to last night. Benny Moss’s team simply wanted to win the game more than VCU, and that’s precisely what they did.

Because it was Hollywood night on American Idol, I was forced to watch the DVR version late at night, and it appeared to me that VCU thought, for the entire game, that it would kick that extra gear and overtake UNCW. At no point did the Rams think they were going to lose the basketball game. There is a fine between confidence and arrogance, and VCU crossed it last night and were burned.

Said Anthony Grant: “For whatever reason, we did not respect this game, the situation,” Grant said. “It’s like we were very complacent and content to play catch-up all night. Maybe this team has gotten used to Eric bailing them out, as he has all year. Tonight, he didn’t have it, and you see what the consequences are.”

Kudos to Benny Moss for much more than this victory. Two weeks ago this UNCW team had lost 15 of 17 games and only been within 10 points of one opponent. They were punch lines. But Moss kept pushing forward and kept working his team and trying new things. You could see they were getting better and this is the culmination of those efforts.

Mull calls it Moss’s signature victory, and I agree.

***

Completely unsure what to make of The Tribe’s 68-63 victory over Nor’easter, but I’m pretty sure I saw an episode of House that dealt with a 1-10 team on life support beating up on a 10-1 team with a supposed chip on its shoulder.

W&M scored 1.13 points per possession, the most Nor’easter has allowed this conference season and a better clip than Memphis posted. It was also only the second time the Tribe has scored more than 1.00 points per possession this conference season. Huge.

Odd note: Chase Allen, possibly the worst shooting great guard in the conference, hit 4-5 threes last night. Go figure.

***

All we can say is that Bruiser told us all this could happen.

***

Welcome back, Kyle Swanston. One of the better ‘dos in conference re-found his stroke last night (7-12 from three) in the nick of time. Side note: Julius Wells–who played center in high school, dropped six bombs of his own.

***

We’ve been harping on road teams and their success for about two weeks now. Of course, three of the top four teams in the conference traveled to three of the bottom four teams in the conference and promptly lost.

I’ll update standings and schedule and such tomorrow, along with some additional thoughts. The problem is that there is now much more thinking to do, so I need to head to Kroger for some Stella.

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~ by mglitos on February 5, 2009.

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