Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Moving On

Falcons Survive to Face Flashes
BG's Netter Fights

The Falcons live to fight another day.

There have been very few pretty games so far this season (probably none), and it's not hard to find fault with this season's hoop team. One thing you cannot say about them, though, is that they lay down and die. This team fights. They don't always play well, but they do play hard, and I still find them fun to watch. I love Falcon hoops.

That being the case, I'm taking Thursday and Friday off work this week, and I'm following the hoops team to Cleveland for the MAC Tournament. I went to the tournament two years ago, and it was an awesome time. Of course, BG had a hell of a team that year, led by seniors Len Matela, Brent Klassen, Keith McLeod, and Brandon Pardon. They made it to the championship game and ended up losing to Kent State, who went on to charge into the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament that year.

I don't expect similar results this year. If it happens, I'll be pleasantly surprised, and I'll be there every step of the way. Right now, though, I just don't know if our guys have what it takes to put together a run. We play hard, but we don't always play smart. There are too many fouls, too many turnovers, too many defensive lapses, too many wasted offensive possessions. I've said it before: I think we have the talent to win this thing, but I haven't seen enough to make me believe that we will.

Also, the deck is stacked against us at this point. We came into the tournament as the #7 seed. That was high enough for us to host a first-round game against a lower seed, but it's all uphill from here. Our next game, the first at the Gund, is at noon on Thursday against 2-seed Kent State. If we should win that game (which is possible--Kent beat us twice during the regular season, but we played them close both times, and they've been struggling lately) we would play next at 8:30 on Friday vs. the 3-seed Miami Redhawks (if the seeds hold). If we should happen to get to the championship game, it would likely be against 1-seed Western Michigan. It certainly won't be easy going for the Falcons.

I'll be there cheering them on every step of the way, though. I would love to see our guys make a run at the tournament championship. Even with the obstacles we face, it's certainly not out of the question. I do think we've got good talent, and I don't think anyone in the conference is unbeatable. It'll be tough, but it can be done. And oh, how sweet it would be if we won the whole thing.

Whatever happens from this point on, my visits to Anderson Arena are over until next year. That makes me sad, but not as much this year as it usually does. Very rarely this year did "The House That Roars" live up to its name, and that's what makes it fun--when it gets loud and crazy in there. The fans (particularly the students) just never showed up this season, and that's too bad. We'll just have to hope for better energy next year. The crowd at last night's game was particularly weak, as BGSU students are currently on spring break. The announced crowd was just over 1,600, which isn't very good for a tournament game. Still, there's not much that can be done without the students on campus.

I just hope the crowds at Gund Arena will be good.

No comments: