After a week of stuffing our faces, it’s time for The Niner Nation to head back out to Halton Arena for a “feast” of Charlotte 49er Basketball. First, Karen Aston leads the ladies team into battle with the #6 Duke Blue Devils, while Coach Major looks for his first win in three tries against the Big South as the men face the Radford Highlanders. It’s more than a huge deal to have an elite team like the Blue Devils playing on our court, and an even bigger deal if Charlotte can upset this Final Four contender. After a down season a year ago, a win over Duke would put the 49ers on a fast track to the NCAA Tournament, and hopefully a Top 25 ranking. Considering Halton’s home-court advantage, an upset can’t be ruled out.
Back to the men, who might be the reason you go to Halton Arena this evening. The men struggled at Oregon State on Wednesday night, but after trailing by 20, showed some grit in whittling the Beavers lead back down to 8. The real story was that Shamari Spears didn’t see the court the last 15+ minutes of the game, for what its worth, none of the post players were on the court as the game wound down. Coach Major went small with Wilderness apparently playing the 5. This is suspected to be a disciplinary measure by Coach Major, who has appeared to struggle with controlling the team, and more specifically Shamari, during the first 6 games this season.
With the assistance of Green Tinted Glasses, it wasn’t too hard to rationalize our first two Big South losses, the suspensions clearly cost us the Gardner-Webb game and Coastal Carolina lost only 7 games a year ago; but Radford on the other hand is far from their 2009 NCAA Tournament team, bringing in 6 freshmen this season and only having 2 seniors on the roster. This is the perfect chance for Coach Major to end Charlotte’s two game losing-streak and salvage some momentum before traveling to a prepared East Carolina on Wednesday, going for the season sweep. With the return of Charles Dewhurst expected today, we may not recognize the team on the court, and hopefully we won’t. Also, left out of the Charleston Review was the outstanding performance by the high school band playing the 49ers while in Charleston, the RB Stall Warriors, they were awesome and by the end of the weekend, they were 49ers too!
Be sure to submit your own predictions. If you’re correct Radford’s head coach, Brad Greenberg, will set you up on a date with his niece Paige!
J Felt: Charlotte 70, radford 59. I believe.
NLP: Radford 67 Charlotte 63, but no one was there to watch it so it didn’t happen.
CPip: Charlotte 75 Radford 57, the return of C-Dew(No one has called him that yet? That’s the same name as a jet-ski for crying out loud) is glorious, as his relief minutes keep our backcourt fresher than they’ve been all season.
HP: Certainly the 49ers will not go 0-3 against the Big South? Or could they? Niners 66, Highlanders 61.
McFly: Until they prove something to me… Radford 76, Charlotte 66