21 down, 3 to go
As you may have noticed, I’ve tweaked the design of this page a little, including by adding to the right sidebar a photo of the blog’s mascots, Mile High Bally and DU Bally, chillin’ with Denver’s unofficial/historical mascot, Denver Boone, at Denver’s win over North Texas on Sunday. Here’s another version of that photo:
I haven’t written my 800 Games Project recap of the game yet — I’ll do that later in the week — but suffice to say, Denver’s 64-52 win was a huge one for the Pioneers, earning them the #3 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament and capping a 4-game winning streak to close out the regular season. It was also their school-record 21st win.
The Pios will need 3 more consecutive wins — on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in Hot Springs, Arkansas — to earn another first: Denver’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Such a run promises to be a lot more feasible because of DU’s seeding. The #3 seed places Denver on the opposite side of the bracket from top seed Middle Tennessee, which Denver defeated at Magness Arena by 15 points, but which will be tough to beat at a neutral site. Now, the Pioneers know they won’t have to play MTSU until a possible title-game rematch. Here’s the bracket:
Gosh, I love looking at brackets. It gets me excited for the big bracket next month!
Anyway, here’s complete information on the Sun Belt tourney. If Denver reaches the title game, I’ll be there — I have a flight from Denver to Little Rock departing next Tuesday at 6:00 AM, a rental car to drive from Little Rock to Hot Springs late Tuesday morning, a media credential and parking pass for the game Tuesday evening, and a spot lined up on @skyvan’s floor for Tuesday night.
All of those plans will be cancelled, however, if Denver doesn’t reach the final. This means that, if Denver wins its quarterfinal game Sunday night, I’ll watch their semifinal at 7:30 PM Monday knowing that the outcome will dictate whether, ~12 hours later, I’m at work in Denver — or on a plane to Arkansas.
Needless to say, I’m hoping for the latter. :)