Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Table is Set

Davidson's monster victory over Furman today was incredible as the Wildcats played a second half with authority and showed that their nine-player rotation was one of the best in the conference.

However, after all of the Davidson players had returned to the hotel and kicked off their shoes, the Southern Conference and the city of Charleston was treated to one of the most exciting basketball games that I have ever seen in person.

College of Charleston knocked off Appalachian State 89-87 in OT. Dontaye Draper finished with 38 points as he hit clutch shot after shot down the stretch. This game had so many turning points that it's hard to remember them all. The most important was a questionable foul call with 2.2 seconds left in regulation that sent ASU's Donte Minter to the foul line. With both shots, Minter would be able to secure a victory for the Mountaineers. He choked on the second and the game went to overtime.

In the extra period, Draper made play after play to keep his Cougars alive, even as Josh Jackson and Phillip McCandies were sitting on the bench with five fouls. With ten seconds remaining, CofC had the ball and a three-point lead. ASU, however, was not able to foul and the Cougars got the ball down the court for a monster jam. ASU threw up a three-pointer at buzzer to cut the final margin to two.

This Cougar team has a lot of emotion propelling them right now. This was supposed to be the year that they got rid of all their demons, and with this tournament run, they are on the verge of returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999.

Tonight's attendance was clocked at 9,000+ and tomorrow's might be even higher as it is on a weekend. Davidson should be able to expand on their large crowd from today as more students and fans make the trip down from Charlotte. The entire city of Charleston has been summoned to come support the Cougars, and I have no doubt that tomorrow's game will have the electricity and atmosphere of anything that could be produced in the ACC or SEC. NCC will see some big-time college basketball.

If you can't make it to the game, keep it here for live in-game updates. I will try to be at the Coliseum early to set up shop and crunch some numbers during the pregame.

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