Feb. 24, 2009
The Green and Gold were back to their old ways on Saturday afternoon, and Southern Miss was the victim. A school-record 15 three-pointers rained down on the Golden Eagles at Bartow Arena as UAB cruised to a 30-point win. The first half was mighty impressive. Mike Davis saw his team shoot it well on one end and put the clamps on USM on the other end of the floor. There wasn't much mystery left at halftime, but it was still good to see the team play the final 20 minutes with a purpose.
And after all was said and done on Saturday, we can all finally utter that unspeakable word...MEMPHIS. It is nearly a perfect set up. The Tigers are in the top-five...they've won 18 straight games this year...and they have won a mind-boggling 54 straight Conference USA games. The Blazers are in second place in the league...the Green and Gold have their sights set on an NCAA Tournament bid and need a big-time quality win to enhance the resume...and best of all, the game is at Bartow Arena. For those that were on hand last year, the UAB/Memphis game at Bartow was one of the greatest atmospheres I've been a part of. I can only hope this year's edition will be just as lively...only with a better ending!
Watching this UAB team the last few weeks has been quite a sight. The Blazers have won six straight games and nine-of-10, with the only setback coming at Tulsa...at the buzzer...and that's all I want to say about that. It is a very confident bunch of Blazers, and I truly believe THEY believe a victory over the Tigers is going to happen. Larry Eustachy thinks it will, too. The Southern Miss coach was awfully impressed with what he saw on Saturday in Birmingham, and he believes UAB can get it done. I hope he's right.
Memphis has been on everyone's mind, and it's a credit to the coaches and players that they didn't let it get in their way. They have taken care of business, and in doing so, put themselves in a position for this game to have massive implications. A loss in the last week or so would've perhaps done irreparable damage that even a win over UM couldn't help erase. It's all out in front of the Blazers right now, and it sure would be nice to see them grab "it" with a firm grip.
Game time is at 8 PM on Thursday, and our pre-game on the Blazers ISP Sports Network begins at 7:30 PM. ESPN2 will televise the game as part of "Judgment Week." And, simply put, I can't wait.
It's off to Greenville on Friday (I'm hoping we'll all be sky high after Thursday night to the point we won't need a plane) to face East Carolina on Saturday night. If the Blazers make it seven straight wins on Thursday night, number eight better follow on Saturday.
Congratulations to the women's basketball team. I know the Friday game with Marshall didn't end the way we wanted, but what an amazing night! The "Pink Zone" game for breast cancer awareness was a tremendous success. Over 5,000 fans showed up wearing pink and smashed the all-time attendance record for a UAB women's game. It is a wonderful cause, and the UAB marketing department deserves a HUGE pat on the back for a job well done.
Baseball had a little more success on their opening weekend. Brian Shoop's team took two-of-three from Radford to start the 2009 campaign. I know everyone was disappointed with the one-run loss on Sunday when the Green and Gold had a chance at a sweep, but it's still a fine start to the long season. The Blazers are on the road for two midweek games before returning home this weekend to play host to Presbyterian at Young Memorial Field.
OK, I think I'm ready for "Blazers All-Access." We'll recap the successful week and look ahead to the...the...who is it we play on Thursday night?
See you at Bartow Arena for UAB and #4 Memphis!!!
GO BLAZERS, DC