And so it begins….
VCU showed us a glimmer, but something wasn’t quite right yet and then:
“Yeah, that’s what I am talking about”. The words of Norfolk State Kyle O’Quinn’s father after last night’s upset win over the nationally ranked Missouri tigers.
They are ballers. Smooth as silk. Suspend disbelief.
If they had nerves, they were nerves of steel and no one could tell. It was just another day at the office. They looked like they were in a pickup game and not a history making NCAA tournament game that would put their school, their team and their basketball on the map. They got some due respect.
The“VCU” of 2012. Yes, Virginia, amongst others (VCU, Richmond, George Mason, Hampton, UVA), you got yourself another winner. David took down Goliath.
Senior center Kyle O’Quinn, the humble, likable, big guy played his heart out and had the game of his life. He was ubiquitous. From hitting the boards and 26 points to diving for free balls, he set the stage. He was complimented by Pendarvis Williams and Chris McEachin who each put in 20.
What a memorable one!
And then there is Duke..
Ah, Duke….(Sorry, T). After the opening slam dunks, I thought it was all over and Lehigh was on a slow bus back to Northeastern PA (and my stomping grounds), but then the unthinkable happened. Duke looked dazed and confused. How could this be happening? Lehigh, known for their engineering, was actually engineering, crafting a win over again, a nationally ranked powerhouse. Behind their professorial coach, Brett Reed, and guard C. J. McCollum’s leadership, they looked unfazed and unintimidated by their opposition. No rebounding, allowing 2nd and 3rd attempts, allowing uncontested drives to the basket. Duke looked anemic and scared like a deer in the headlights.
Though Norfolk State and Lehigh wreaked havoc (not unlike Shaka’s defense) on mine and others brackets, you can’t help but be happy for them and their well deserved hard fought wins. All is fair in love and basketball; they are bracket busters. Powerhouses take note. Let this be a warning, these mid level teams are hungry. They will not bow down or quake at the mention of your name. There are great players on great teams across the country and they have come to play hard.
Yes, it was a crazy day in sports all around. (in case you missed it, Andy Pettitte is back out of the retirement and signed with the Yanks). Maybe it was a full moon or global warming (we seem to blame every thing on it) or something cosmic. The mighty fell or just didn’t show up. In the words of the unflappable Lehigh’s coach Reed: Suspend disbelief. Performances from teams like Norfolk State, Lehigh and USF is what keeps us tuning in for more. Yes, we have suspended disbelief.