Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Call to Support One Underdog This Month

At noon tomorrow, March Madness will begin, and my loyalties to the Capitals and my college, Virginia Commonwealth University, will collide.

At 7 p.m., the Capitals play the Lightning in an "intense Southeast Division bout," but my mind will be wandering -- wandering because for the last time as a student at VCU, I'll be wearing black and gold in support of the VCU Rams.

At 9:50 p.m., the VCU Rams will tip off against UCLA, a historic college basketball powerhouse and winner of 11 national championships. A win over UCLA would elevate our basketball program to a new level that has only been achieved by one other CAA school, George Mason.

You might remember our team from 2007, when we ousted Duke in the first round in a thrilling game that came down to the last seconds. In the next round the Rams faced Pitt and, once again, took the game to the final buzzer, only it ended in defeat for VCU.

This year, a young VCU team is back in the tournament against another top BCS conference team, and the Rams are still led by Eric Maynor, the star point guard who made the game-winning shot over Duke.

But perhaps you need some further motivation to choose VCU as your Cinderella team, or at least your first round upset. Well, here's some things to consider...

  • Barack Obama selected VCU as a first-round upset in his bracket, probably as part of his hope and change like hope and change...don't you?
  • The Caps have Russians and so do we! Kirill Pischalnikov is a young forward on the VCU team from Maykop, Russia. I'm sure Ovie would cheer for him!
  • Star point guard Eric Maynor is probably better than half of the current players on the Washington Wizards.
  • Eric Maynor is also likely to be the first player from VCU drafted in the NBA draft. Here's your chance to say "Yeah, I knew about him before he was a star..."
  • You won't win a bracket pool by making safe bets, and you'll impress your friends when you get to say "Yeah, I totally called VCU beating UCLA and Villanova..."
  • The Rams are playing in Philly, and a team from Virginia winning in Philly is just as good as the Caps beating the Flyers. So VCU = Caps, UCLA/Villanova = Flyers.
  • It's the only time you could wear black and gold and not feel filthy.
Enjoy the tournament and I'll have a pre-Cap up for the Bolts game later.

Also, if you need a bracket to join, Japers' Rink is running one through Comcast in a contest against the SB Nation Wizards blog Bullets Forever.



1 comment:

  1. Somehow you have convinced me that the VCU Rams and the Washington Capitals are inextricably linked. I'm redoing my bracket!


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