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TurtleBoy Sports is always welcoming of any and all guest bloggers with a passion for New England sports, or anyone who has hot takes to spit. Feel free to email us at [email protected] if you’re interested. Today’s guest blogger is a UMass student, Craig Miklavic. Here’s his thoughts on the Minutemen’s season thus far and their upcoming game with URI tomorrow.
I think it goes without saying that this year has been the type of year that all of us UMass basketball fans have been waiting for. Had Chaz’ buzzer beater gone down, it just would have been the cherry on top of the sundae that was this season for the Minutemen. This season has had a little bit of everything. From winning their early season tournament, to losing to George Mason at home.
UMass will play URI at 9:00 Thursday in the first round of the A-10 tournament. The Minutemen have beat URI twice this year but it has not really been easy – pulling out a 5 point victory in Rhode Island and, thanks to a block and steal by Carter and Lalanne with just a couple seconds left, a 3 point victory in Amherst. I do not see that happening at all though. I see the Minutemen coming in and just rolling over the Rams. No way Chaz comes home to Brooklyn and doesn’t put up 20 and 10 in front of everyone he knows from home. He has to prove to himself and everyone there why he calls himself the Prince of Brooklyn.
Being a student here, going to the games was something all year that I looked forward to for days until it is finally time to crush a few Busch Lights, a couple shots of Fireball or Rubinoff and head on over to the Mullins Center. The VCU game and the St Louis games were the most fun I have ever had at a basketball game – a close runner up would be Sampson Carter’s buzzer beater over Harvard in last year’s opener. For the VCU game, if you wanted to sit in the student section right behind the hoop, you had to be there in line legitimately at 4:00 for the 7:00 tip-off. The St. Louis game was not as bad because everyone was too hungover or still in jail from Blarney to get there before noon. Once it filled up though, it was the same kind of energy.
At halftime of both games I remember looking over at my friends and saying, “holy shit that was only half the game”. The amount of yelling and cheering felt like it had been going on for hours. The best moment of the season for a fan at the game happened during the St. Louis game in the first half. UMass had gone down by 7 real early and Kellogg called a time out. I would LOVE to hear what he said to them, but when they came out, I had never seen anything like that. That was the most energetic of an environment I have ever seen basketball played in.
It could not have been easy for the St. Louis team. In a two minute stretch, UMass forced four turnovers, and went on a 10-0 run including two threes by Chaz with one involving a cross over, step back with a hand right in his grill. Mullins Center was as loud as it could have been and those two minutes felt like 20. Derrick Gordon was pounding the ground with his fists and screaming in their face before taking the ball and bringing it down the floor for the lay-up.
It’s unfortunate that we won’t get any more games here this year but I’m positive the fans will be just as, if not more passionate from wherever they’re watching the games.
On another note, Sampson Carter is just 49 points away from scoring 1000 in his career. If he does get that 1000th point, then all three seniors will have over 1000 for their careers. If UMass plays the way that they should, he’ll have more than enough games seeing as he is averaging almost 11 points per game. Come 9:00 Thursday, I hope everyone will be glued to their TVs watching the Rams get their asses kicked by our beloved Minutemen!
TurtleBoy note: URI sucks.
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