This happens in tournament play, and the Atlantic Ten, with its attractive Barclays Center venue, epitomized this. Davidson, VCU, Dayton and Rhode Island: the Atlantic Ten ‘final four’ all in quest of the championship. All plotting ways and believing in getting the dream realized.
The games saw a contrast of styles, not unusual in tournament scenarios, even with all four from the same conference. Game one saw a high-octane affair as a game of spurts saw VCU with two significant ones, handily eliminate regular season champion Davidson. The second game was a slower, more methodical affair. In that one, Dayton advanced, defeating Rhode Island in a close game.
So the scene was all sorted out. The championship will be between VCU and Dayton. For the two eliminated, there still is hope. Their body of work and resume’ label both as worthy of postseason action. Still, there is a feeling exiting Barclays of what might have been.
The semifinal Saturday saw a quick change of emotion. Anticipation and hope soon changing to disappointment by those eliminated. In this case, disappointment will be temporary. The realization being, there is another game or more down the road. Soon.
Outside Barclays Center, and with the Atlantic 10, all roads do lead to Brooklyn:
It is raining, but in the words of the Cub immortal Ernie Banks, "let's play two":
Legends of the Atlantic 10 honored at halftime of game one. Third from the left is former Fordham star Charlie Yelverton:
Shaka Smart meeting the media:
Even the concession stands at Barclays intrigue a visitor with their diverse tastes:
A panoramic view of the court as Dayton battles Rhode Island:
The group that spent a few memorable days working together. From left to right, Ray, Jason Schott of BrooklynFans.com, and Jaden Daly: