Monday, February 04, 2008

Wildcats draw Winthrop in BracketBusters

As announced on Monday by ESPN, Davidson will play at Winthrop during the 2008 ESPN Bracketbusters Weekend. Davidson will play on TV on the evening of Friday, Feb. 22. Although it has not yet been revealed whether Davidson will be on ESPN2 at 7 or ESPNU at 9, all signs point to the 7 pm slot since UC Santa Barbara at Utah State will be the only other game that night.

Despite being featured in primetime on ESPN2 against a regional rival, most Davidson fans feel like the selection committee slighted them in this draw. Winthrop currently has an RPI of 111, while the Wildcats hold at 69 with the potential to move higher. Although the Eagles got a huge upset by knocking off sixth-seeded Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament's first round last year, this Winthrop team has not followed up. In the offseason, they lost their coach to the big money at Wichita State and they lost their guard to a tragic accident.

Although this year's Eagle squad sports two OOC ACC victories (Georgia Tech, Miami) and a nice mid-major win (Akron), they have not held up to expectations, stumbling to a 14-8 record and a second place standing in the Big South conference behind UNC-Asheville.

Just three weeks ago, ESPN's Kyle Whelliston chronicled Winthrop's heart-breaking loss at High Point with an article about the Eagles' struggling season. "The Eagles have flown under the national radar this season, primarily because of a level of inconsistent play that would have been unthinkable during the glory days," Whelliston writes.

While a win over Winthrop might not help vault Davidson back into at-large contention, it would help to galvanize basketball interest in a county whose three teams just can't seem to stay on the national radar for a prolonged period of time. The writers at ESPN the deuce will not have a very difficult time writing a pre-game script for this game, while Davidson should be back on the cover of the Charlotte Observer a couple times over the next month (in ways that even a victory over a Top 25 St. Mary's might not have done just because of the game's proximity).

But the Wildcats have more pressing issues than worrying about their bad draw in the bracketbusters. Elon comes to town on Wednesday and Davidson needed several miracles from Stephen Curry to pull out a victory over those Phoenix the last time the teams played in January.


Austin said...

Come on Will, Elon is terrible. Our game AT elon was a total fluke, they made at least 6 shots at the end of the shot clock. They are terrible. I bet we beat them by 25.

JBA said...

Will, if we don't cover against Elon I will buy you dinner at Luce or Villa Antonio, your choice.