A top-20 mid major basketball program has just reached its first 20-win season. A future NBA player, the team’s best shooter in school history, is playing in one of his last few home games. The team is inches from clinching the conference championship and beginning a giant-killing playoff run. The only opponents to have beaten the home team in conference play are showing up for a high-stakes rematch.
This situation happens from time to time in the world of big college basketball. But now we’re not talking about Gonzaga or Witchita State or even Saint Mary’s. This momentum belongs to none other than our own UC Davis basketball team, and on Saturday night Davis students have the opportunity to take part in can’t-miss Aggie history.
It’s that time of the year again. For the third consecutive year, UC Davis Basketball is going to be nationally televised on ESPN after getting assigned a Wild Card game due to strong early-season performance. Like the first ESPN game two years ago, this game will be against conference power Long Beach State in a battle between two conference powers.
And with two hours until kickoff, one final question remains: who will win?
Hornets, says the casual fan, looking at the teams’ records this season.
Ags, says the Bayesian statistician along with the older Aggie fan.
Indeed, looking at the past four years (and past decade) would indicate an Aggie victory. Regardless of record, UCD almost always beats Sac State. But then again, UC Davis hasn’t usually had this bad of a record.
The Hornets are also quite good this year, with a great passing game under Garret Saffron and his best-in-class receivers. Passing defense is incidentally what the Ags are quite mediocre at; our one victory was against Cal Poly, a school that rarely passes.
However, Poly has a quite stout defense which gave up 48 points the Ags, indicating the home team’s offense might have evolved to something similar to Sac’s. The game may become very light on defense and turn into a score-most-in-the-allotted-time affair.
The weather also plays a role; if it keeps raining or the wind picks up, expect to see offensive stats off from normal for both teams.
However, with a historic and home-field advantage, there is no reason to not place bets with the Ags on this one. 52-48 Aggies.
Sometimes we just have to face hard truths: even though UC Davis football season is in full swing, even though we just got our first win in the most spectacular fashion, even though we’re currently living in some of the most exciting times our athletics program has ever faced, most Aggie students probably won’t care what happens to our sports program in the next few months.
Why is this? It’s partly because our teams generally have a reputation of being subpar. However, most UCD students probably couldn’t recount the current win-loss record of any team, so the stigma explanation only goes so far.
Like a lot of gamers, I spent a good number of hours today waiting in line at BestBuy for a chance to spend two minutes with the new Super Smash Bros, which is scheduled for worldwide release during the holidays. Two minutes is not a lot of time to develop an in-depth analysis, but experiences from my limited playing time plus released information suggest a disturbing trend that must be addressed. Smash Bros 4 may eliminate some of the issues of Brawl, and may provide a more fun and level casual environment than Melee, but delivers these changes with a cost — the severe weakening of intermediate underdogs.
Waiting in line for just two minutes of Smash is an intense experience indeed.