Knights able to make season worthwhile despite postseason ban
Published: Thursday, August 2, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 2, 2012 15:08
East Orlando was a grim scene Tuesday afternoon.
Storm clouds hung over an area filled with mourning, weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Fans looked toward the sky pleading for vengeance, filled with the angst that a young boy feels after his dog runs away.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad.
But after discovering the men’s basketball program will surely face a postseason ban for the 2012-2013 season, a large chunk of UCF nation was left with the question – what’s the point?
How could a season matter without the hope of an NCAA berth or a Conference USA tournament title?
Well, it still matters. A lot.
President John C. Hitt explained it best while addressing the NCAA sanctions during a press conference.
“We have not been in the NCAA tournament in years in basketball… maybe this year would have been the magic year where we broke through, but its nothing were used to.”
Pretty much what he’s saying is that it’s going to be okay. We’re all going to live. There’s a good chance the team wouldn’t have made the tournament anyway.
So now what does the team play for?
The Knights can make this season worthwhile if they win the big-time games, and I can think of three or four games that pack a tournament-sized punch.
Friday, Nov. 23 UCF travels to Gainesville for an in-state showdown with the Gators.
Gotta win it.
Saturday, March 2 the Knights host Memphis for a chance to duplicate last year’s most thrilling game.
Win this game and I’ll start to forget about the tournament.
Saturday, Nov. 10 USF opens up its brand-spanking-new arena with a renewal of the War on I-4.
Please, for the love of Knightro, win. This is the team’s metaphorical championship.
Oh and don’t forget, UCF hosts USF and travels to Memphis, too.
If the Knights are able to capitalize on their exciting schedule and win that imaginary tournament of games. I’m willing to forget all about the postseason ban.
And if the team is able to pull out a regular-season C-USA title, consider me a happy camper.
There are enough marquee matchups on the schedule to make this season a memorable one without an NCAA berth, and I think seniors should consider that before they try and jump ship.
Was this team stripped of its best opportunity to make the tournament in years?
Probably. But the program deserves the ban.
And a lack of postseason play does not make the season worthless, it just makes certain games that much more important.