The theme for Drake is "Believe", and I can't believe what I just saw. The Bulldogs blew an 11 point lead in the second half, and missed two shots to win at the buzzer. The Dogs even snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when Josh Young made an uncharacteristic mental mistake in the final minute.
The Knapp Center rocked like never before all night, and the crowd was just waiting to explode when Drake won. The Bulldogs would then cut the nets down to celebrate their outright conference championship (Keno Davis opted to not cut down the nets at UNI. Class move, and the right move.) Instead, people just sat in their chairs stunned that the Dogs had lost. Next to no one moved for what seemed like minutes.
A little perspective is needed, and Keno and the Boys provided it. They seemed less devastated than several people in our newsroom (paging John Bachman, Erin Kiernan, and Chris Hassel). The head coach correctly pointed out if either of Drake's final shots had gone in, we'd talk about another exciting win. Josh Young seemed okay despite the rare brain cramp. And Klayton Korver talked about how money Bradley was down the stretch. Plus, when you're 23-3 and you've already won the MVC, how bad can it be?
Now, the Dogs need a good showing Saturday. If they lose at Butler, that means they'll have lost three of four and Drake will be in danger of falling out of the top 25, not to mention a decent seeding in the NCAA Tournament. The Bracketbuster is still big, but it lost a little something, thanks to Bradley.
I thought I'd seen my quota of bad basketball after Iowa's second half against Michigan last week and Iowa State's awful first twenty minutes against Nebraska Saturday. I was wrong. The first 10 minutes of the Northwestern at Iowa game set basketball back about 100 years. Northwestern is terrible. Iowa was too. Against the Big Ten's worst team, and one of the nation's worst defenses, Iowa scored 1 point in the first 9 minutes or so. Airballs, turnovers, traveling... the Hawks did it all, and Northwestern was right there stride-for-ugly-stride. Iowa did win, and a win is a win, but all the progress Iowa seemed to be making two weeks ago is suddenly stalled. I have no doubt Todd Lickliter can coach, but the Hawks need to get it going again. Hope, and therefore season ticket sales, depend on it.
I'm headed home to watch a documentary called The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters. It's about Donkey Kong, which I know nothing about, but Andy says that doesn't matter, it's great. It will give me something to do between trips to the bathroom. We have a house full of boys projectile vomiting like fire hydrants. Anyone else have the flu? If you don't see me tomorrow, you'll know what happened.
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