El Tweetico: Bonnies Host UMass-Amherst in Rochacha

The Bonnies, who are tied in the standings for being the greatest NCAA team this decade, moved to 3-0 in the A10 with a 20-point win over Fordham on Saturday. They controlled almost the entire game, except like 4 weird minutes in the 2nd half when FU all of a sudden was only down by 5. Of course, at that point, we remembered that the game wasn't over and easily extended the lead.

The Bonnies continue the northern expansion plan by hosting a game in Rochester against UMass-Amherst. You may have heard of El Classico or El Trafico, but I've tried to name this rivalry El Tweetico. That's because of the interesting relationship between #UMassTwitter and #BonaTwitter. Sometimes, we trash them for Derek Kellogg being Derek Kellogg. Other times, I jump on the b*ndwag*n as the Minutemen go to the Frozen Four.

Hey SBUnfurled, I tried making a logo too...

I'm honestly surprised the Minutemen are still allowed to use that nickname despite its mockery of Rick Pitino. I guess Celtics fans still haven't gotten over his tenure as being the most disgraced Beantown coach until Alex Cora. Just like fellow Bay Stater Elizabeth Warren, Mass-Am had to atone for its offensive past towards Native Americans. I could never imagine Bona's doing such a thing or even having boomer fans that still wear headdresses in 2020...

Unlike St. Bonaventure, UMass-Amherst has never been to a Final Four. They did make an Elite 8 in 1995, but my memory is kind of fuzzy on what happened the following year. 1995 was the last year UM-A won an NCAA Tournament game under slimy head coach John Calimari.

Wait, wasn't 1996 the year they made the Fin... *neuralyzer flashes*

Since then, the only thing The Other Amherst has done is ruin the original Wolfpack student section. In 2014, a ranked Minutemen squad lost big time in the Reilly Center. It gave way to an iconic photo and, unfortunately, a front row of chairback seats. This Orwellian move by the A10 to control freedom of thought is the biggest blemish on commissioner Bernadette McGlade's resume, folks.

The literal fall of the Minutemen in the 21st century, captured in photograph.

The Blunder of the Berkshires is led by Matt McCall, but many A10 fans probably know him as FJK or Fake Jared Kushner. No, it's not because FJK's father-in-law said he would be dating FJK's wife if she wasn't his daughter. It's because they look alike, although McCall is way more stylish, even with his paltry annual salary (compared to Kush) of about $537,000.

One man has the impossible task of restoring UMass basketball to glory, the other has a much easier task of achieving peace in the Middle East.

Still, UMass-Amherst is my favorite soulless state school in an Amherst, so let's get to this preview's interview. Curry Hicks Sage is a leader of #UMassTwitter, likely the best sub-section of #A10Twitter. His name is a reference to the former home of UMassketball, Curry Hicks Cage. He's also the host of The UMass Basketball Podcast, the place I've made my only podcast appearance a few years ago.

Curry Hicks Sage says Bona fans follow two paths based on body parts. The first is the heart, Merton's Heart.

Avid Bona fans who love the game are as good if not better than any fan base in the A10. They understand how unique a history their program has, are passionate and the ones I've come to know are generally cool enough to be able to take a joke when I dish on them. We'll call this group the Thomas Merton subset of the Bona base. Kind, fun, Franciscan in their egalitarianism and belief in justice.

The other body part is the ass.

At the other end of the spectrum, there's a smattering of the Bona faithful that is completely grimy and classless. We'll call this the Paladino end of the spectrum. Just as Carl wanted to take a baseball bat to even high functioning parts of state government, this small-but-unfortunately vocal subset of Bona nation is not subtle.

One unfortunate example was after the tragic Davidson OT loss before the 2016 snub, when a couple Bonnies allegedly fought the police for some reason?

I believe the melee began because one kid was tossed from the arena with a few minutes to go in the infamous Davidson OT game. Somehow I ended up as an eyewitness to several of that dude's friends getting body slammed by NYPD's finest outside Barclays. It was a moment I'll never forget and one that forever left a bad taste in my mouth about a small faction of the Bona nation. Booze were obviously to blame but there's drunk and then there's whatever those kids were and there was nothing endearing about it whatsoever.

Still, Curry Hicks Sage hasn't let one bad interaction ruin his opinion on the rest of us.

I purposefully emphasized the extremes here but when I think of the median Bona fan it's just a dude in the suburbs of Rochester who works in IT at Corning Glass or a sales guy for a beer distributor on Long Island. Just solid, middle class dudes who will never forget when JR Bremer or Harry Moore hit what to the rest of the world was a fairly unmemorable shot but what for Bona fans somehow lives on in perpetual lure. And honestly, I respect the fuck out of that.