|Hold nothing back tonight. The Spectrum should be full, rocking off the hook,|
and ruthless as can be!! (thanks to TrueAggies.com for the greatest photo ever)
Sure, the CIT has its fair share of haters, and to a point, that is understandable. It's the bottom rung of college basketball postseason tournaments, gets little to no fanfare or publicity, and is comprised entirely of teams who, at some point, fell short of their more lofty goals they'd aimed for this basketball season. Just like I said two weeks ago when I issued the Man Challenge to this Aggie team, it would be easy for any team to just kill over and die when landing in a second, third, or ever fourth-rate postseason tournament. A handful of past Aggie teams have done just that, even in the NIT, which usually features its fair share of ESPN games.
Screw it though! Screw everyone who says winning this tournament doesn't mean a thing! The CIT is where Utah State has landed this season, and Wednesday, the Aggies have the chance to prove that they were the best among the field where they landed. Utah State has the chance to at least say we dominated the CIT when we ended up there to finish off what was supposed to be our worst season in nearly 20 years.
Just a few months ago, Aggie fans everywhere were thrill as hell at the idea of playing in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, a game that is of comparable significance in comparison to CIT. But we didn't hold back then, nor should we now. That bowl game was where we landed, and winning it meant the world to all of us, and all of us felt the hurt when we came up short. The CIT should be no different.
Above all else, Utah State has the chance to be one of just four teams who won't end its season with a loss. That kind of opportunity is so unbelievably rare for a college basketball team that to do anything other than embrace it and celebrate it feels just absurd.
For Morgan Grim and Brockeith Pane, they know that Wednesday night against Mercer will be the final time they play college basketball. There's no more thought of "survive and advance"... This is it! Lose, and they go out with a loss in much of the same way that essentially every other Aggie senior in history has exited. Win, and ride off into the sunset knowing that they manned-up and conquered the final challenge put before them in their college careers. Either way, it ends Wednesday.
People will still say, "It's just the CIT, nobody cares." But to that same extent, some of the power conference might look down on Utah State for celebrating like we did when we were winning four-straight WAC championships from 2008-2011.
"It's just the WAC," they could say. But the WAC is where our team competes, and when we come out on top of those directly competing with us for conference supremacy, that is cause for celebration. The same goes for any conference champion too. So what if the a conference like the MEAC is the 30th best conference in the country? Whatever team that wins that conference beat out a handful of other teams going after that same goal and came out on top. They've got every right in the world to be thrilled about that victory!
The same goes for the CIT. It's where we are, and it's what we have a chance to win Wednesday. Aggie fans have every reason in the world to get excited about this, and the last thing anyone should do is get bashful about celebrating a victory if the Aggies can get one more win.
This could very well be the only time we ever get to see Utah State end its season with a victory. Don't water down a potential once-in-a-lifetime memory with negativity and resentment about greener pastures where this team could have played.
The season ends tonight. Let's end it with a bang!!!