Bonnies Finally Return to Reilly Center for Big Showdown with Rhode Island
At the end of a stretch where the Bonnies played 7 of 8 games away from the Reilly Center, we went to the two other toughest places to play in the Atlantic 10 without our defensive leader. Naturally, we got smacked around, although I guess the first 10 minutes or so of the Dayton game wasn't terrible?
Unfortunately, as the president of the officially unofficial Norwich City FC supporters group of the Southern Tier, the last two games felt very familiar to me. A team full of hope and youth unfortunately was no match for the clear-cut favorite in Liverpool/Dayton. The season is far from over and it's time to make sure we stay towards the top of the table, lads.
The Premier League comparison doesn't stop there. Just like another group of Wolves, Bonaventure is fighting to get into the top four, in order to get a double bye/Champions League spot. Ok, now it stops there. If Bona's wants that double bye, beating Rhode Island and getting the tiebreaker would be enormous since it's the only time we play them.
The last time we saw the Periwinkle Rams was one of the most fun sporting experiences I've ever had: the A10 semifinals. Sure, it wasn't the biggest event in hindsight, but holy shit, the Saturday of St. Patrick's Day weekend in NYC was a thrill. It didn't seem like it would be that way at first. We fell behind 29-14 before halftime, but some threes by Welch and Lofton helped make it 29-27 at the half.
The second half... my God... was glorious. I have this bad boy still on my DVR and I can confirm Bona's shot 325/327 in the second half. The way the Barclays announcer screamed "thaaaaaaaat's a threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" is forever burned in my memory. The Bonnies booked their ticket to the A10 final and I booked it to The Montrose for several postgame recovery fluids.
Other teams like VCU, Dayton, Duquesne and Davidson may come to mind when we think or A10 rivals (or rivalries we want), but Bonaventure-Rhody has to be one of the more underrated matchups in the conference recently. The title race in the 2018 season was extremely fun, even if we didn't get the Bonnies-Rams final in DC that the conference truly deserved. We played in the 2019 and 2017 A10 tournaments. URI spoiled Nicholson's jersey retirement in 2014, which is the last time they won in the RC. The years-that-shall-not-be-named didn't even torpedo our series record against them like it did for other teams. Rhody is 40-31 against us, but we've won 8 of the last 15.
Rhody is another program with a good amount of NCAA Tournament appearances, but only made it past the round of 32 twice. Way before the A10 era, the Bonnies actually beat URI 86-76 in the 1961 NCAA Tournament. URI's best season was 1998, when they went to Elite 8, getting through a real murderer's row of Murray State, Kansas (who always chokes in the first weekend) and Valparaiso. They again went to the tournament the following year, but got bounced by eventual Atlantic 10 school Charlotte in the first round. What's impressive about this season was that the best player was a Kardashian. The only more improbable thing that a Kardashian contributed to in the 90s happened in a Los Angeles courtroom, folks.
Don't ever let a URI fan shit on Olean. As someone who has been the lesser RC — the Ryan Center — I can tell you that Kingston is one of the few places in the Ocean State that's in the middle of nowhere. Yes, Rhode Island is literally smaller than Cattaraugus County, but there are some out-there places. Not everything in that state is Dunkin, fried clams and people who failed to make it as a Southie in Boston or a mafia member in NYC.
Despite being one of the original Thirteen Colonies, Rhode Island is known to harbor some traitors. Mike Flynn, who's convicted of selling our democracy to the Russians, graduated from URI. Not only that, but this post congratulating him on joining Trump's cabinet is still on Rhody's actual website. While Sean Spicer didn't go to Rhody (he went to Connecticut College, where he was called "Sean Sphincter"), he is from the Ocean State. He's as close as RI will get to dancing this year, folks... I know some people think we overreacted to how evil Danny Hurley is, but it is my suspicion that he was a shadow figure behind controlling this terrible Presidential administration. All of that's not even getting into the generally sleazy local politics all over Rhode Island.
I forgot to find a URI fan for this part, oops...
Seven Steps to Victory
Put URI on a Fatts-free diet.
I heard Lincoln Chaffee will be giving the pregame speech to his Rhode Island compatriots, so they'll proceed to lose by about a million points.
Osun needs some of the water that Russell Wilson shills and claims can heal concussions.
Schmidt is from right over the border in North Attleboro, MA and knows something about getting rid of annoying Rhode Islanders.
Danny Hurley is gone, but some of his recruits are still there, so take advantage of the new anti-flopping rule.
URI is 0-1 against brown teams this season.
If a Bonnie loses their shoe like Griffin did in 2018, we're gonna win.
BonaCommenter's Score on #a102k20: Rhody 107, Bona's 95
Unrealistic 2k Stat of the Game: This game was like more than a month ago, but I guess I decided to watch Netflix while playing defense or something? 31 points, 19 boards for Langevine (although I'm worried that could be realistic if Osun's out again).
Bonnies A10Talk.com Forum Quote of the Day: [after the Dayton game] "Is it wrong to say I am kinda glad I had to go to a wake tonight?"
Rhode Island Message Board Quote of the Day: "St. Bonaventure in Olean is a rugged challenge. That place can be like an insane asylum, will be packed with students with nothing better to do. Their choices were: skiing, skiing, snow boarding, and Bonnies B-Ball... and they got tired of skiing 2 months ago. Bona is positioned to be the spoiler of the conference, so this is going to be a huge game in hostile territory."
Put your skis down and pick your EBC blueberries up, the Bonnies are back in town!