I’m one of the luckiest college basketball fans. I grew up in Philadelphia. I grew up with the best basketball rivalries in the country. I grew up with the Big Five.
And last Thursday definitely didn’t disappoint.
With both Temple and La Salle on Joe Lunardi’s bubble, in risk of not returning to the Big Dance and the Big Five title on the line, the game meant more than usual. The Liacouras Center was sold out and louder than usual, ready to boot the Explorers right back to Olney.
Rachel, Jeff, and I arrived at the Liacouras Center early along with hundreds of other students, all buzzing for one of the biggest games of the year. The energy was more palpable than usual. Everyone understood the stakes, and with the unpredictable way this Owls squad has played, no one knew what team was actually going to show up.
Thankfully, the Owls cruised over a solid La Salle team. It wasn’t enough to bump us off the bubble, but it was enough to sing “I Believe.” And the more times we sing “I Believe,” the better chance we have to lace up our dancing shoes. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that we took sole possession of the Big Five title away from our rivals. I can dig.
When it comes to TUMBB, I’ve done just about every tradition in the book. I’ve done the chants, the postgame high-fives, the funeral of the Hawk, the “I Believe,” the A-10 Tournament, the viewing parties, Midnight Madness…all of it. Except one. Qdoba. After TUMBB scores 80+ points, everyone gets a free taco from Qdoba, which is why you’ve probably heard the “We want tacosss!” chant if we get to around 75pts. And I’d never gone. So Rachel, Jeff, and I stood in line and finally got our free tacos after the game.
With another big TUMBB non-conference win against Detroit last night, I’m definitely looking forward to the next two huge home games against Rhode Island and VCU as we bid to go dancing. And trust me, I really, really want to go dancing.
Let’s go, Owls!