Monday, March 24, 2008

Sweet Davidson

It's a lead too easy not to write.

Easter Sunday. Davidson ("Son of David") slays the Giant. And, heck, if I were a sportswriter, I would probably have done the same thing.

The Davidson Wildcats have done the unthinkable. No, not getting to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament; anyone who actually followed them this season knew they were more than capable of that. No, the amazing thing that Bob McKillop's team has done is upstage the UNC Tar Heels in what basically became Carolina's home away from home, the RBC Center. And the Wildcats did it at the same time as the Heels were awing the basketball world with complete beat-downs of Mount St. Mary's and Arkansas. Thorough beatdowns, at that.

What Davidson is showing is that playing good teams makes you better, a novel concept, that.

Davidson's miracle run, in all likelihood, will hit a dead end at some point. But for now they have captivated the country, and have kinda sorta united N.C. basketball fans. Carolina fans were pulling for the team in red, on N.C. State's home court. And McKillop himself admits to stealing ideas from Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams.

"In the NCAA Tournament, that basketball reality show brought to you by 60 Minutes, the drama reaches such a crescendo that 15 minutes of fame can stretch into 48 hours," writes Lenox Rawlings.

"By then, most Americans tire of the gritty spud sprouts from Southwest Idaho State and start looking for a fresh thrill. Short attention spans usually match the limited staying power of the ’Taters, who flop about seven minutes into the second round.

"A grateful nation considered putting Davidson in the hall of fleeting fame yesterday. The Wildcats fell 17 points behind Georgetown moments after halftime, and shooting star Stephen Curry finally displayed mortal flashes.

"As it turned out, any skeptics gave up too quickly, and perhaps Georgetown started counting to Sweet 16 too early. ..."

"The Wildcats are so corny that they carry stacks of textbooks into the locker room and sing a Neil Diamond song with their fans, 'Sweet Caroline.' After the hand-in-glove show, that’s precisely what Davidson did, right in front of the team’s main booster section with the pep band pumping up the music and drawing North Carolina fans into the refrain. The scene amused [guard Jason] Richards.

" 'We definitely know the words,' he said. 'The whole school knows the words.'

"Right now, the whole basketball world knows about the small school with the big team. Davidson, sweet Davidson."


Kevin Brewer said...

Amazing. I was pulling really hard for those guys. And against Georgetown.

Curry is so good. He is the leading scorer in the tournament, counting just his second-half production. He has been my favorite player in college basketball over the past two years, and it was fun to see him do do well.

Kevin Brewer said...

Oh, I forgot the best part: I filled out a bracket for a friend of mine in a pool: I picked Davidson over Georgetown.

M. Lail said...

So did i! We're awesome!

Kevin Brewer said...

Story in SI on Curry:

Kevin Brewer said...


Kevin Brewer said...

By the way, this blog always knew about Curry. Everyone else is playing catchup. I actually filled out our Wooden team ballot at work. The rules: Pick 10 players and rank them 1-10. I put fourth, behind Beasley, Hansbrough and Love.