Last game, the Super Pit creaked to life like it has not been since the very early days of the Tony Mitchell era, when he was blocking and rebounding and supposed to put North Texas on the minds of all the important college basketball people. Football is a spectacle, but basketball is a religious experience.
The league’s lone remaining entrant in the postseason is hosting Game 3 of the CBI Final against San Francisco. The series began with the Dons jumping out to an early lead thanks to hot shooting, harassing defense, and a Mean Green team that was not ready to play. Game two brought more poor shooting from each side, but NT’s athleticism and crowd propelled the win going away.
NT is the better team, with better athletes, but USF has Frankie Ferrari and that name wins them points. Seriously, the Dons are not to be taken lightly — you do not get to this point through sheer luck, as NT found out on Monday — but NT has looked the better team for the majority of the series. The Super Pit is an underrated place to watch basketball, and when that place is even halfway filled with NT supporters, it can be intimidating. The Pit Crew from the Johnny Jones days is reformed with new faces, and the former members now make up the paying fans. Four-thousand fans filled the arena for game two — a number that is unimpressive to ODU, WKU, and Middle — represents one of the larger crowds in NT’s recent history. Although the school has been accused of fudging the attendance numbers a bit, long time observers point out that the crowd for the Game 2 was at the very least more raucous.
An NT win here would be the cherry on top of a very good basketball season for the league.