One year later and we're back in the same sitch. Beat Saint Louis and we get the double bye.
This time, though, it's all about revenge.
How much do I even need to say about last year's A10 championship game? Courtney Stockard's phantom 5th foul was maybe 30 feet away from me. The Nelson Kaputo 3 that would have altered the course of history was almost as close. Those memories will never leave my mind.
You know who remembers that event more vividly than any of us? The 6 guys on last year's team that will play Saturday. Even if the double bye wasn't a factor in this one, you know those guys would still want to destroy the blue assholes from the great state of I̶l̶l̶i̶n̶o̶i̶s̶ Missouri.
My St. Joe's call to arms hopefully got you all sufficiently fired up for the home stretch, so let's return to our regularly scheduled programming of shitting on our opponent.
Before Saint Louis got arguably the biggest win in program history against us last St. Patrick's Day, this program is a lot of bark without bite. Many years, SLU fans crawl out of the woodwork bragging about one solid nonconference win. Then, once A10 play starts, they immediately start pooping the bed. Their most famous coach is a bargain-brand Roger Ailes who came to St. Louis from Utah, a state where you can marry multiple sisters, but a 4% ABV beer will get you the death penalty .
You would think that with the reverence some people talk about Saint Lewis (equals to Dayton?), they would have a very impressive program resume. Not so much. No Final Fours, one Elite 8 in 1957, two Sweet 16s ('52 and '57). Yeah, they've been appearing in more NCAA Tournaments recently, but if you have such a boring performance that no one remembers you made the tournament, does it even count? They won one game each in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 tournaments, yet none of those games were memorable, even an OT win against NC State in 2014.
Speaking of 2014, it isn't all terrible when the Bonnies and the Bad Bills face off in the Barclays. DO NOT TALK TO ME IF YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THE BUZZER-BEATER BY JORDAN GATHERS IN THE 2014 A10 QUARTERFINALS. Sure, the 2012 championship was an overall happier moment, but I've never felt a bigger rush of pure ecstasy than when that shot went in, folks.
While I didn't have the good luck to be in the Barclays that day, one roommate and I screamed for about 5 minutes in our Townhouse after the shot went it. I ripped my shirt off and kicked another roommate's Kan-Jam up and down the hallway. I pounded on the door of our 4th roommate and screamed that he was a pedophile (a baseless accusation and he wasn't even in the Townhouse). It's probably for the best I wasn't in BK that day because I probably would have climbed to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge and zip-lined down it. We then drove 7 hours to get to NYC, only to see St. Joe's suffocate us in the semis...
Jordan Gathers nearly destroyed Saint Louis's entire program. That win actually sparked a 9-game winning streak by us against SLU. Of course, I'd trade all 9 of those wins for the one that broke the streak, last season's A10 final.
This overrated program on the wrong side of the Mississippi River is led by Travis Ford, a man who looks like a small town preacher that's definitely embezzling church funds to pay off a mistress. You have to hand it to little Travie for one thing. When Danny Hurley left the A10, there was a huge need for a villain for all other teams to despise. Yeah, we all hate VCU, but it's honestly the fans more than the players or coaches. Travis Ford is the Singular Entity of Shit that all other A10 fans can hate.
Travis Ford not only looks like white privilege, his career is a prime example of it. His first D1 coaching gig was at Eastern Kentucky, where he went 61-80 over 5 seasons there. Then, he somehow got a promotion to UMass-Amherst, but after 3 seasons with just 2 NIT appearances to show for it, he went to Oklahoma State, a football school!
Despite the resources of a Power 5 program, he managed to win just 1 NCAA Tournament game there in 8 seasons. The Cowboys finally put him out of misery in 2016. He was about to take a job on the Trump campaign as director of puppy drowning, but then decided to go to SLU because they offered him enough blood of first-born children to quench his thirst for a decade.
No fan interview for this preview, but check out the latest episode of SBUnfurled and Friends. We're joined by Zac Martin, co-host of The House That Rick Built podcast. He's a filthy Billiken, but he's chill. Below is the SoundCloud link to the podcast. Be sure to also follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and TuneIn.
Seven Steps to Victory (and the Double Bye!!)
Even though Saint Louis is in the city of St. Louis, they are officially called "SAINT" instead of "ST." because the city does not want to be associated with that trash heap.
A team called the Bills blowing an important game??? That would NEVER happen...
US men's soccer national team players Brian McBride (retired) and Tim Ream went to SLU, which pretty much explains what's happened to the USMNT for most of the last 3 years...
Since this game is in the Show Me State, the Bonnies need to SHOW ME they can consistently hit 3s against a team that isn't just Ryan Daly and 4 understudies to the St. Joe's Hawk mascot.
Saint Louis is literally the worst free-throw shooting team in the country, so you know that means they'll shoot 94% from the line against us...
Wuhan, China, aka ground zero of the coronavirus, is a sister city of St. Louis. I need to request Travie Ford's travel logs, because would anyone be surprised if he was responsible for this???
Any city that slices bagels like THIS doesn't deserve a double bye.
BonaCommenter's Score on #a102k20: Bad Bills 86, Bonnies 85
Unrealistic 2k Stat of the Game: Other than Fred Thatch and Gibson Jimerson playing for SLU (both out for the season), both Ikpeze (19 points, 14 boards) and Osun (14-10) had double-doubles. I played this one probably 4 months ago and was probably using a twin towers lineup?
Bonnies A10Talk.com Forum Quote of the Day: "Well...thankfully the team did not shit the bed yet again. Big woof and pissah! on St. Joes."
Saint Louis Message Board Quote of the Day: "We all know what a Billiken is. What's a Bonnie, A Scottish lass? They used to be the Indians. From brave native Americans lto a Scottish wench? Jeesh how low can you go? They should change their unis to Tartan Plaid and play in kilts. Eff St B! Snow Bunnies or the Snow Mobiles would have been better mascots than the freaking Bonnies."
Billikens fans may need a snowmobile to get to Ellicottville, but when we're done with them on Saturday, they'll need to beat a Pillow Fighter to get to the A10 quarterfinals.
LET'S DO THIS.