I tend to write a lot of words in my blog so before I get to my thoughts... I don't want to bury the lead. Here's the most important message:
Fill the Betty this year... Don't waste this... Don't stay home because you are not in the habit of going. Break that habit and come watch this UND Men's Basketball Team play. In a nutshell... Tickets to watch this team should be competed for. Every game should be sold out and UND Fans should have disapointed people who didn't get tickets because they didn't plan ahead. The Betty seats a little over 3,000 and those seats should be gone and not available right now. It doesn't matter who they are playing.
I know I'm over-hyping them right now... I will be doing that all year... but... Here's the deal... Grand Forks hasn't seen anything like this before. This team is not only a serious consideration for Big Sky Champions and the NCAA tournament. They are a strong consideration for winning a game or two in the NCAA tournament.
I'm saying... You have Duke, Kansas, Michigan State at the very top level of College Basketball and the next level... right below that is where the University of North Dakota slots in. I know that sounds like over-hyping... but these guys are that good!
I remember fairly decent size crowds back in the glory days of Division II. It was good basketball to watch and the teams were good... but it's nothing like this. The talent level of those talented Division II squads isn't even close to comparable to this year's team.
I remember when Kansas came to town in 2002 and played before 13,280 fans at the Ralph. UND was going to get crushed in that game... everyone knew it and 13,280 people came out to watch it. I'm guessing that they wanted to see Kansas because of the talent level.
Well... UND has a talent level this year that is very close to that Kansas squad and they are here all year... and... Only 3,000 plus seats to fill in the Betty.
This squad is going places and they deserve your loud support! Don't let this group of Seniors leave town without them knowing you are here.
Some additional thoughts about yesterday's drubbing of NDSU.
I hate praising the Bison in anything but I will say this... They have a very good basketball team.
NDSU recieved 25 out of 28 first place votes in the Summit League pre-season poll. They were the overwhelming Summit League favorites. The Big Sky doesn't out rank the Summit league in overall talent. It can be argued that the Summit may be the stronger conference.
NDSU can not only give Southern Mississippi a game... They can give Northwestern a Game... Colorado... Colorado State. NDSU can play.
Yesterday's win wasn't a case of NDSU playing badly... It wasn't even a case of UND Playing out of their heads. It was a case of UND being across the board better and better by a fairly large margin. And... It was a case of UND knowing that they were better before the day started and having no doubt about it. UND knew they were going to win. They knew it. You can see it when you look at them. This UND team knew when they left Madison Wisconsin on Tuesday Night.
They understood that the Badgers who have been one of the top defensive teams in the country for decades did not know how to stop them. They left Madison Wisconsin knowing that they can play with anyone... They left Madison knowing that the Badgers had to shoot 60% to beat them. They left Madison knowing that a 7-0 center was 6 for 6 from 3 point range and he couldn't ever do that again. They left Madison knowing that with improved Defense... THEY WOULD HAVE WON!
I said on Wednesday that I do not feel sorry for what is about to happen to NDSU. It happened to NDSU just like I said it would and now I'm saying UND will beat Oregon on Saturday!
The reason is this... UND is much more confident walking out of Madison than they were walking into Madison. They now know they can play with Oregon and they are respectful of the talent that Oregon has.
The Bison faithful were shocked by UND yesterday... It's OK... They think NDSU is the team in this state... They simply didn't know what UND is... They still may think it was luck or something the Bison did wrong... That's OK... They will learn as the season goes on.
However... I want to make sure that Grand Forks understands what is here. Let Fargo under estimate... Let Fargo think what they want about the Bison. Just don't do it in Grand Forks... It's time to believe... Fill that Betty... Be a part of this. Make the Betty a home team advantage. Don't rely on others to do it.