I was watching Duke University destroy the University of Maryland on ESPN last night. A week before, the not-so-mighty Georgetown University played on ESPN and found a way to blow its halftime lead against shaky top-ranked University of Connecticut.
I missed the coverage because I happened to spend five bucks to go see the MCI Center become transformed into a large Georgetown facility with player introductions that look more like a laser show than anything else.
I was thinking the only way GW could be regularly seen on the coveted ESPN would be if Wolf Blitzer switched from CNN to the all-sports network to help out. Or maybe “Tex” Silverman could help. I don’t know who “Tex” is, but his name seems to always show up under the feet of Daniel Soares when he throws up his one-brick-per-home-game from the same spot.
But I found out just recently that GW will switch its final home game against Xavier from 2 p.m. to noon to accommodate ESPN, which must just have realized this game is going to be a battle worth televising. ESPN is coming to the Smith Center so the newest player-of-the-year candidate, Shawnta Rogers, can show he is a lot bigger player than the height listed on the roster. And these days, I’d also say it’s a chance for the nation to hear a “Yegormeister” chant in praise of the awakened Yegor Mescheriakov.
This month will answer most of the questions about how well the Colonials will do in the NCAA Tournament. And yes, we’re going back to the field of 64 – enjoy it now, because I can’t promise that next year. Ideally, GW’s good enough to get to the “Sweet 16.” Realistically, a second-round exit seems about right. And if the Colonials do what they did last year, Mike Jarvis might have made the right move getting out when he did.
But I like Penders and this team. It was right about this time last year when the ranked Colonials took a four-game slide and never seemed to recover. In a conference in which Temple and Xavier were the main television representatives, Shawnta and company have been given an incredible opportunity to make a statement before a lot of people, most importantly the NCAA selection committee. If I recall correctly, the last time GW made ESPN was at the Atlantic 10 Championship game last year in Philadelphia. The Colonials lost to Xavier in that game, were booted by the NCAA down to a No. 9 seed and subsequently were flattened by Oklahoma State University.
GW has taken off, but the team is entering the stretch run. It’s made ESPN, and I hope it makes the most of it by playing good ball.