(NOTE FROM VOODOO: After several excellent FanPosts from GarySJ, this is his first post as an editor of Voodoo Five. Take it away, Gary. And eventually the roster at the bottom will have you listed on it. We promise.)
Well, that didn't go like we'd hoped.
A three-game homestand against Syracuse, Marquette, and Notre Dame resulted in two comprehensive beatdowns, and the Marquette-USFiest game of all Marquette-USF games. It was so bad that Jae Crowder's spot-on Brian Wardle impression was barely noticed. Even us positive-thinking diehards at Voodoo Five are questioning the heart and overall direction of the program.
But we'll have all of March to complain about that, on slow football news days. Right now it's time for something positive regarding USF men's basketball. And it's about perspective.
In the last ten years or so, sports fandom has become very focused on the big picture. Every game is just prologue to a larger story: how will this win change the NCAA tournament bubble? How far will the loser fall in the polls? What's the team's magic number? Will they get bowl eligible? How will recruiting be affected? Who will they draw in the playoffs? Reasonable questions all. But sometimes I think we sports fans overlook the beauty of one well-played game, and fail to recognize the possibilities that exist in a single night's play.
For example, did you know USF has never beaten a team ranked higher than #7? A win over Pittsburgh, perhaps in either game, would put this year's team in the USF record books for something positive. (That's the upside to having no history. There's plenty of chances to create it.)
Did you know Pittsburgh is the only Big East team USF has a non-losing record against? It's true. Three and three. To put that into perspective, USF is 3-28 all-time against Louisville.
And did you know that basketball stat guru kenpom.com gives USF a 3% chance to win tonight? Not zero. Three. On the road. Roll the clip (after the jump):
That should be our motto for the rest of the season. "So you're saying there's a chance." Well, there is a chance. Every game gives this team a chance. A chance to do something great. A chance to finally finish off a good team. A chance to show they are making progress. A chance for you to shout at the TV in delirious joy instead of tortured anguish, for a change. A chance for all of us connected to USF basketball to wash the taste of this season out of our mouths. Because right now it tastes like a mouthful of bile, Everclear, Taco Bell and carpet fuzz.
But I know this fanbase. I know the minute these Bulls knock off Pitt or Georgetown or St John's, out will come the "Can we win the Big East tournament?" and "NCAA 2012!" comments around the Internet. I know the feeling. I've done it too. But just as every great journey must begin with a single step, a great season must begin with a single victory. And that can happen tonight. Three percent.
And now for this game's Queefcore anthem, which I admit I really haven't weaved into this story. It is "In Too Deep" by Sum 41. Yes, the title and lyrics are an obvious metaphor for USF basketball in the Big East. But watch the video on this one. Think of USF and Pitt's basketball programs as you watch those pasty goofballs taking down that team of bronzed Adonises. Because maybe we're just trying too hard, when really it's closer than it is too far.