By: Brad Cummings (@BwcShaggy)
As I sat there in Legacy Arena watching the MTSU Blue Raiders cut down the nets after defeating the Old Dominion Monarchs I was thinking, “That should have been us (UAB).” I was bitter, salty, and everything you could imagine a fan of the number one team in the conference to be that didn’t make the tournaments championship game. What made things worse was it was in OUR city in front of mostly OUR fans with a nice crowd from Murfreesboro.
After a few minutes of stewing it truly dawned on me though … March is what we live for, and Birmingham for the last two years has played a role in this crazy time of the year for basketball. From the push by UAB last year to capture the tournament trophy and an NCAA berth, essentially healing a city and university; from seeing a WKU team calling its shot then backing it up against UAB only to see the excitement of that win all but extinguished as Trey Freeman exploded to set the new single game tournament points mark at 42 and send the Hill Toppers packing – speaking of Trey Freeman, that guy is a bad man! You cannot deny his excellence on the court. And finally, to the exhilaration and pandemonium of the MTSU basketball squad and fans this year after their march (no pun intended) to the championship! I…LOVE…MARCH! But more so, I love March in Birmingham!
So looking ahead, I can’t wait to see Middle Tennessee represent our conference in the NCAA tournament and I hope they ruin more than a few brackets like UAB did last year! They really are an explosive and fun team to watch who should represent Conference USA well.
UAB will get its chance at redemption in the NIT tournament that looks to be absolutely loaded this year! I’m not going to lie and say that I am not a small bit excited about the chances we get to play some of the teams that are being tossed around for the NIT. And you better believe that I will be traveling to support our Blazers if the game is close enough! And if by a miracle we get a home game I EXPECT a sellout! March is still here, and it’s still alive and well Blazer faithful!
So cheer on MTSU as they look to represent our conference well! But more importantly, cheer on your Blazers as they look to make March another magical time here in the Magic City in the NIT tournament! May Iron City be packed for the away games! May the lucky few that get to go to the games be loud and loyal! Sellout Bartow Arena if we get a home game! Show our men we still love and support them! Knock off the salt Blazer faithful and prepare for an NIT tourney run!