My neighbor, Aaron, is both alumni and a season ticket holder with Davidson. It's normally a family affair, but school nights are hard for the kids to get to, so I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to see my first ever college basketball game. So 30 minutes up the 77 and we are on the Davidson campus and entering the John Belk Arena.
Let me preface this review with the fact that I know the extreme basics of basketball (at a stretch) so this was definitely a learning experience for me (and probably a pain for Aaron, with all the questions). We are seated 4 rows from the court behind the Mercer bench. How much do I not know? I had to ask where Mercer was.
The game itself was fast, too fast for me to keep up. And without the help of replays I had no idea why fouls were being called and why the crowd was upset when they weren't being called. What I do know is it was close, all game. Davidson took a 5 point lead into the half the break, and while there were a few scares, managed to hold Mercer off to take a 77-71 win. Shooting was far from accurate from both sides, but this was definitely a good result for the Wildcats.
While I don't know much about the game, I feel I have learnt some things - if I can retain this knowledge is another story. It was fun supporting the home team in a very one-sided crowd (maybe 40 Mercer supporters in the 3/4 full arena. Was also great to see my mild manner neighbor get fired up for his team. In comparison to Australia, where college sports are non-existent, American's definitely keep their connection to their schools, and it reflects in the difference in passion between college and professional sports in the US. Hope I get the opportunity to see more.
Davidson Wildcats 77 (Aldridge 23 points, Barham 19, Michelson 15) defeated Mercer Bears 71 (Jelks 18, Lewis 10, Rivers 8)