Monday, March 07, 2011

#3bids4caa, Day 4

I got it dead right. Told you we'd see an upset yesterday that would keep #3bids4caa alive for one more day. (Fingers crossed that nobody will read yesterday's post to cross-check me.) VCU played as complete a game as we're likely to see this month, thoroughly outclassing a very, very good George Mason team, 79-63, to advance to the CAA Finals. The Rams forced 14 Mason turnovers, withstood a brief Patriot run to open the second half, and breezed in front of a partisan Richmond Coliseum crowd. Jamie Skeen hit a career-high 4 threes on his way to a game-high 21 points, while Bradford Burgess went for 16 points and 13 boards for VCU.

The loss snapped Mason's 16-game winning streak, but Jim Larranaga's team is still going dancing in a few weeks. Those with an appreciation of history will remember that the 2006 Cinderella Patriots fell in the conference semis before embarking on their mythical run. Selection Sunday will lack the same drama this year, and there were no groin-shots today, but the symmetry hasn't gone unnoticed in Fairfax.

Hofstra had an opportunity to send us all to bed happy last night; a win for the Dutchpride would've clinched the CAA's third entry into the NCAA Tournament. Alas, a combination of superior athleticism, terrific defense, inspired point guard play, and somewhat questionable officiating doomed Charles Jenkins and his mates, who fell to a hard-nosed ODU squad by a 77-69 count. Senior point guard Darius James, who averaged 7.1 ppg this season, dropped 16 for the Big Blue Beast to complement Frank Hassell's efficient 22. Keyon Carter came off the bench to give Blaine Taylor's team 10 and 8. Jenkins found it much harder to get points on the drive against ODU than he did last night against our Wrens, going 6 of 16 with 16 points and 6 dimes. Our new twitter friend Jerry Beach (@defiantlydutch) noted with both bias and some legitimate beef that Jenkins took 11 shots from inside the arc without drawing a single shooting foul.

It will come as no surprise that I'm picking VCU tonight. I really wish it were Hofstra taking their shot, but beggars can't be choosers. With every major chronicler of the bracket telling us that Mason and ODU have already punched tickets (Joe Lunardi had them as 7 and 9 seeds, respectively, as of Friday - hardly bubble teams), Shaka Smart's squad holds the fate of our silly little hashtag in its hands.

I once again watched CAA tourney action on a small corner of my laptop screen, toggling between the ESPN3 telecast and a lively community tweeting #caahoops and our homegrown #3bids4caa hashtags. (The CAA's decidedly bush league TV package is a source of a future post.) I was getting ready to shut down my computer and have my daughter kick my ass at SuperMarioKart when a final tweet caught my eye.

@midmajority: I missed it on purpose. I live in reality. RT @burythemfast @midmajority Somehow you must've missed the #3bids4caa hashtag making the rounds

Careful G:TB readers (and I think all of our 27 strong readership qualifies) remember our early season run-in with @midmajority, defender of the mid-major faith, obsessive hoops connoisseur, apparently touchy rule-keeper. My tongue was firmly in cheek back then when I lamented my loss of status among the chosen.

Today, though, I wonder with some reason whether the alleged keeper of the flame has forgotten the sublime magic of the possible. Truly, it's the arrogance that irritates more than the actual words. Has this eloquent chronicler of the quixotic quest of the littles become such a big in his universe that he can't bear a storyline that punctures his prefigured narrative? If #3bids4caa becomes a reality, could it mean that things are changing in a way that threatens the mid-majority ethos? (Well, no, it would just mean that this year's senior-laden and well-coached CAA teams had a really fucking good year, nearly all the way through the conference.) Why not revel in the silly, goofy hope, though?

The same guy that wrote, "It always ends in a loss. But this moment, right now, is a new beginning. It is the renewal of hope that things will finally change," is now dealing in reality? The talented dreamer that said, "Those of us who keep going, keep doing and keep traveling are fools in the throes of unrequited passion. There are thousands of us, everywhere, content to find and share the company of other perpetually jilted lovers, inspired and pushed forward by those fleeting and fading glimpses of beauty," now throws cold water on the hopeful giddiness of those who would seem to be fellow travelers?

Maybe he's forgotten.

Or maybe he's just a dick.

21 comments:

Ellen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marls said...

I think he is just a dick. I have no doubt that Mr. OCD Whelliston knows exactly where the hashtag came from. Instead of making light of your early run-in and supporting the absurd (but completely possible) idea that the CAA will get three bids, @midmajority took the low road. His smarmy response is just more evidence of the petty ego based BS that drove the aforementioned "blocking" and subsequent refusal to consider reinstatement.

While part of me still thinks the NCAA committee will find a way to f the CAA, the fact that Mason was the team that lost makes this crazy hashtag not only possible, but probable (dare I say lock?) with a win by the Rams on their home floor. I know I am late to the bandwagon and there may not be any room left on board, but I will gladly run alongside.

T.J. said...

Ellen must've not liked him either.

T.J. said...

No surprise here - that "nut shots" label was already in the queue.

zman said...

If I remember correctly, the 2006 Patriots were also ranked #25 at the end of the year.

Danimal said...

nicely done

Marls said...

That is what I get for posting from a borrowed laptop.

zman said...

I don't want to bust up rob's significant sports flow so I'll keep this brief: you should check out the new Radiohead album, or at least the track titled "Separator."

Dave said...

i love the new radiohead album-- way better than the last one.

although i don't understand what's going on, i'm rooting for three bids for the caa, just to spite that mid-majority guy.

T.J. said...

Attaboy Dave.

Dave said...

but at least i understand "tyhe birthday problem."

unlike igor.

rob said...

hey, guys. big gulps, huh?

Igor said...

I desperately want to make love to a schoolboy.

Shlara said...

This VCU team is stressing me out.
Take it over already!!!

Shlara said...

NOW we have a ballgame...

zman said...

Is it wrong to schedule the birth of my son so that I get to stay home for the first week of the tournament?

TR said...

You mean my son, right?

TR said...

You know it's a good night for the Knicks when they dust off Andy Rautins.

rob said...

rob jones, damn dummy. not helping the gaels.

zman said...

We confirmed it's not your son -- the latest sonogram showed no afro.

Mark said...

Z, I have a friend who's scheduled all three of his son's birth's so that they don't interfere with Auburn Football seasons. My wife thinks he's a psycho. I think he's a visionary.

Also, due to the honeymoon. And due to my wedding being scheduled around the tourney and football season this is the first year since I was 18 that I haven't taken off the first two days of the tourney. But I can guarantee you I'll be less than productive on the tourney's first two days (Thursday is St. Patrick's Day.) Do you thing Z. No apologies.