Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Just Dance

By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball at Duke

“Well, that was worth it,” one Cameron crazie said to another as they were leaving the court.

I remember being a college kid trying to get good seats for a big-time game, so I get what that means. And for my part, I’d agree. The two-hour drive was definitely worth it (The media room had popcorn shrimp!).

As our entourage made its way back down South I-85 after the Wildcats’ 79-67 loss at No. 2 Duke, a song came on the mixed CD I made for the trip. (ROAD TRIP!)

“Just Dance... Gonna be OK.”

I snack on an Oreo McFlurry in the back on the school’s Sable (which doesn’t have a very good turning radius, it would seem), and Lady GaGa somehow sums it up.

It didn’t really feel like it was gonna be OK when the ‘Cats trailed 37-24 at the half or when the Blue Devils stormed to a 26-point lead five minutes into the second period, though.

At the break, I abandoned “press row” (seriously???) and, after finally finding a women’s restroom (where oddly enough not one person said a word about the game... we are at a game, ladies, no?), ran into Davidson’s own volleyball coach/photographer Tim Cowie, who offered his take. That it would take a “Georgetown effort” for a Wildcat victory.

Being superstitious, and having had a similar conversation at last season’s comeback at Greensboro, I liked, and agreed, with this assessment.

But then. Then the Blue Devils opened the second period with an 8-0 run, before pulling ahead an intimidating 26-point margin.

But then. Then a Georgetown effort.

“All of a sudden, it’s an 8-point game, and Lance is at the line. How the hell did that happen?” Coach K (can’t spell it. Don’t want to look it up... Sable, remember.) asks in the post-game.

Because Andrew LOVEdale would not be denied. 15 points. Seven rebounds. FOUR BLOCKS. It was HIS ball. No matter which way it bounced or which Duke defender was taller. Except for those precious few late.

Because The One they Taunt Futiley would not be denied. 29 points. Eight rebounds (REBOUND!). Six assists. Two steals. The lane was his, so you’d better, um, move or be moved. Defenders finally couldn’t keep up and his shot refused to not go in. Except for those precious few late.

And so they sit at the podium afterwards.

“We got better as a team today,” Coach McKillop tells the room. And these two. “That late loose ball scrum indicates that we gave everything we had.”

“Our system,” assesses The One whose Name they Still Mispronounce. “We found out how to execute it. They made that big second-half run, and we got down by 20, but we didn’t panic. We got some stops down the stretch.”

“We didn’t do what we were supposed to do, which is win a basketball game, but like Coach said, we got better,” LOVEdale offers.

And it’s true. It wasn’t a win. And I won’t write that it was a moral victory.

But it wasn’t a loss. Because this team... This team will get better because of it.

In the meantime, just dance. It’s gonna be OK.

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