Okay, what just happened? I don’t believe it. The Charlotte 49ers had this game lost–there is no way they won. Richmond couldn’t have imploded in the last 4.7 seconds.
I think it’s a good thing Coach Mooney took Richmond to the NCAA Sweet 16 two years ago. Otherwise, this end game meltdown could be enough to make one lose their job. And at 18-14, I think Richmond just missed their shot at the NIT. If they want a postseason, they’re going to have to pay for the CIT or CBI to take them in.
Well, the game didn’t start well as the Niners gave up two open 3’s, including one to the infamous Darien Brothers who burned us on January 19. How did we Charlotte up a 3 to a man with a busted hand? We start down 8-2, but come back to tie it at 10. Willie Clayton scored Charlotte’s first five points, and Derrick Williams scored half of UR’s first 10.
Then Cedrick Lindsay hits a LONG 3, to make it 13-10. How is it three 3’s already? They keep scoring at it’s 19-10 and 22-14. I’m a little worried at this point.
Charlotte has a 12-5 rebound advantage, but trail 22-17; they hadn’t really taken advantage of the rebound lead. Ultimately, they trail 31-23 at the half.
Richmond hits another 3 at the beginning of the 2nd half, and it’s 35-25 Spiders. The announcer points out the Spider bench is standing up and cheering, while the Niner bench is sitting down and silent. Not good.
Chris Braswell gets two baskets and an assist. Charlotte goes on a 12-0 run to take a 37-35 lead. Maybe this game isn’t over with after all. At this point, the Niners have an 11-6 lead in offensive rebounds (29-17 overall) and possess a 26-12 points in the paint advantage.
Charlotte’s getting called for a lot of ticky-tack fouls but at the 5:00 mark were up 47-46; they were 15-0 when leading with 5:00 left. But with 29.7 seconds left, it is 57-54 Spiders, with Charlotte 0-4 from 3 vs. UR’s 7-20. I’m thinking with all the 2’s being traded when down three the Niners can’t win, but no one foresaw the miracle finish.
-Friday at noon Charlotte play the #1 seed Saint Louis Billikens. They beat the Niners 76-58 at St. Louis on February 16. Charlotte has always had trouble in St. Louis–luckily this game is in Brooklyn. The two teams have been conference mates for 18 years (10 in CUSA and eight in the A-10) but this is the end of the conference games with SLU as the Niners go back to CUSA next year. If they want to prove themselves, facing #1 is how you do it.
I’m glad Charlotte pulled out the UR game, so I can tell you my SLU story I’ve been saving all season. Have any of you ever seen The Exorcist? It’s a classic movie about demon possession from 1973 about a girl who is possessed. Well, it’s based on a real story of a boy possessed in the 1950’s. And the real exorcism was performed at–drumroll please–St. Louis University. That’s what a Billiken is: a demon. There is a legend about how the demon never left the room where the exorcism was performed, so SLU shut up that room forever to keep people out. A window washer was washing windows, and climbed up the fire escape to the next floor. He started washing the window of the sealed off room. He looked inside and saw a blue-winged demon. After that, he refused to go anywhere near that room.
-I had an interesting look at other conference tournaments. Today Texas-San Antonio plays Louisana Tech in the WAC Tournament, but both teams are going CUSA like Charlotte next year. Also in the CUSA Tournament today, Memphis beat Tulane 81-68 and ECU took on Tulsa, but all four of those teams are going America 12 (formerly Big East) next year. Yeah, it’s hard to keep track of who’s in what conference in this shuffle.