GAME 30 Maryland: Historical

Discussion in 'Men's Basketball' started by bac2therac, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. bac2therac

    bac2therac Legend
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    F Yeah F yeah

    How many years have we have been waiting for this. I am not going to call us a lock because I do not sit on the selection committee and yes the road issue is not solved but percentage wise and is the only wart on a strong resume. We are in the 80/20 range that we are dancing. We can worry about that in the coming days as the metrics and results come in and RU's resume gets compared to the flimsy resumes from the AACm SEC, A10, Pac 12 and Big 12. Let us enjoy this moment tonight. It is historic. I feel historical tonight

    My first experience at the RAC came before my first experience with Rutgers. In the late 70s my dad used to take our family to see the New Jersey Nets who played their home games at the RAC for a few seasons. Often times he scored sideline tix from work and does anyone else remember the Superfan with the wig that used to roam the sidelines and shout and stomp his feet.

    My first experience with Rutgers came while watching them beat SW Louisiana on ESPN in the NCAA championship. I knew the names Hinson and Battle in the 80s. Then in high school, I knew the program was like the worst in college hoops.

    In 1988 I enrolled at RU but did not attend a RU game until a Temple game later in the season after a bit of buzz had developed about the program. RU won that game and then of course went on a run in the A10 tourney. My screen name came from the moment at the end of the game vs Temple when the cheerleaders and fans started chanting BACK TO THE RAC, BACK TO THE RAC signaling that RU would be hosting the A10 championship game vs Penn State. Watched that one on tv, was at the RAC for that incredible game at Penn State. The loudest the RAC ever was at any one time or for a sustained period. It was a frigging zoo. That atmosphere will never be duplicated for two reasons...the RAC lost 1K seats and that there were maybe 2K PSU fans...a sea of blue in an ocean of red. RU was seeded 13th and was not up to the task in facing 4th seed Iowa but that was okay. Wenzel took the team from 7-22 to the NCAA tourney.. Looked like the future was golden

    Next year was somewhat of a disappointment, team made NITs but underacheived somewhat. It was 1991 our last tourney year where RU really shined. Started strong with the win over Missouri but then sputtered to start A10 play. I believe somewhere was our last win over Maryland 1991 in an Arizona tourney. RU suddenly turned it on midway through the year, won the A10 championship by routing Penn St on the last day of the season. Got stung by St Joes in the A10 tourney quarters and was a bubble sweating it out but turned out not so...as we were seeded in the 8/9 game vs Arizona State with the winner to play top seed Arkansas. Man RU had that game and blew it

    But no one, no one could have ever dreamed that 1991 would be the last year Rutgers would make the NCAA tourney.....29 freaking years...are you kidding me. There was flirtation with Bannon in 1999 and another with Waters in 2002 and 2004 and at that time we thought 10-15 years was along time...we tripled and doubled those numbers. Man how is this possible.

    Tonight is for all the long time season ticket holders. All of us who stuck with this program through the bad times in the A10, to the early years in the Big East where we got no respect, through a lot of false hopes and false idols. Players who were supposed to be the ones. Coaches who promised success. Yet year after year after year, RU fell short. Our highlights reduced to yearly upsets at the RAC of Syracuse. What kind of program was that? Sleepy crowds of 3-4K and years of irrelevancy in any conference. This is for those fans who still stuck around through the miserable Fred Hill error, a coach who probably is responsible for decimating a third of the fanbase and removing any lasting hope we had as fans. This is for the fans who stuck with Rutgers after the Mike Rice debacle. A well liked guy with serious flaws. Would not blame anyone for bolting and saying never again. Things would get lower with the Eddie Jordan era. Man maybe we really should shut the program down. And finally Mr Hobbs came in, listened to the fans, assessed the situation got rid of Eddie who will always be a loyal Scarlet Knight but not a college coach.

    Hobbs delivered us Steve Pikielll. A guy many of us never heard of. Remember Danny Hurley was the first target but that did not work out. Pikiell was next man up and while most did not know alot about him, he came from a great pedigree and almost got universal support right away. Not flashy at all, Pike somehow little by little in this first year starting building things, you could see the signs. Year 2 and the run in the B10 tourney at MSG was giving us real flashes. Year 3 we were winning 7 league games and beating ranked schools. RU was not quite there yet and still seemed young and a little less talented. But damn year 4, what a frigging year. This team looked dead after the St Bonnies/Pitt games. Did we need more horses? They try hard but geez they are not winning. Not sure what Pikiell did but this team came home to play Wisconsin at the RAC and it was a brand new team. Down went Wisconsin. Down went Seton Hall. Followed into the next year...Penn State, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois....before you knew it RU was 17-0 at the RAC. Yeah we lost to Michigan..so what. Tonight backs against the wall, this program delivered #18 and it was the best ever.

    This game was the best game played by a Rutgers team at least in my history at Rutgers. I know some of the older folks go back pre 1988 so you guys might have a different perspective. Other wins in the 90s and 2000s were big but what exactly did they represent. Tonight was no accident. Rutgers absolutely clobbered Maryland in all kinds of ways. The #9 team in the country. This win was not because RU got some hot shooting or luck. This win was because RU played savage defense and were the aggressor on offense making Maryland pay time and time again. Maryland was punched repeatedly...on defense and on offense. RU kept responding and responding and answering. Rutgers beat a top 10 team because they played the part of a top 10 team. The players and coaches did a phenomenal job of sticking to the gameplan and just sticking it to Maryland every chance they got. There were other games this year that I said put the notion of Same Old Rutgers to rest but this game was seemingly the culmination of 29 years of heartbreak, false hopes, false starts. Tonight Rutgers cemented the Steve Pikiell era and likely made history

    This win was for us. The long suffering RU fans. You know who you are. Many of you I see in person at the RAC from time to time to chat. We have grown old together, kindred spirits holding onto the NCAA dream. Others I do not know personally but I know your faces, again seeing them for 30 years, its easy to remember. Some of you are just fans from far away and that is okay too, you all have been involved in this long journey. The newer fans give us a youthful optimistic energy that work to shake the older folks from their learned negativity. That sight on the court was our smaller version of Pandemonium in Piscataway. The joy, the happiness, the relief, man that was amazing to see on our fanbase. This was a long time coming boys. There is still potential work to do. Again nothing is locked up but this team is rocking everyone's worlds right now. Rutgers has arrived in a big way. We are not a fluke. We are legit. We can do serious damage in the Big 10 tourney. 10 freaking Big 10 wins, our first win ever over Maryland..another double digit win at home over a ranked team.


    And this post is already getting long so maybe another one coming tomorrow that will go through the game and the key plays and give some individual players their props although I am sure there will be a plethora of threads covering them tomorrow.
     
  2. RUforester72

    RUforester72 Senior
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    Well said, Bac. Well said.
     
  3. FastMJ

    FastMJ All Conference
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  4. BigEastPhil

    BigEastPhil All American
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    You should get a Pulitzer for the piece above. Excellent!

    Need to win 1 more for me to feel secure but that’s just me. As wacky and as fun as a season this is, how unreal would it be to win that 1 last elusive game at Purdue. The one no one saw coming!

    All I want to on March 15 is watching the screen wherever I am and not having to sweat it out just waiting to see our name. I can’t take any more stress!

    Season ticket holder here since 1995! As much as PIke and the players deserve it, so do I and the tons of loyal fans!
     
  5. RV-GORU

    RV-GORU Redshirt
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    Whoa Bac, that was Titanic!
     
  6. Scangg

    Scangg All American
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    Shout out to the older fans suffering for multiple decades. Since '02 when I enrolled and became a fan felt like a lifetime. It's a great time to be a Rurgers fan. Finally
     
  7. RutgHoops

    RutgHoops All Conference
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    My father's business bought the original Two Guys building in Harrison, NJ. Two Guys was a big sponsor of the Nets when they played at the RAC in the late 70s and part of the deal for the building was 11 year old RutgHoops got to be ball boy for the Nets at the RAC five times a year for two years. My dad knew I loved basketball. Bernard King, Kevin Porter, Jan Van Breda Koff, George Johnson, "Super" John Williamson.

    Was also my first experience with the RAC. My dad was a good man. May he rest in peace.
     
  8. bac2therac

    bac2therac Legend
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    great story. I remember those names...how about Mike Newlin and wasnt there a Basset guy?
     
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  9. RU MAN

    RU MAN Hall of Famer
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    For me, best post yet by you. Nostalgic, memorable, sad in parts because of the all too many down years, and the hopefulness today and tomorrow. When Turgeon replaced his starters, as if to say, "they got us good tonight" I had tears in my eyes. I've waited as you have and others have 29 years for this moment.

    I wrote my son a text while he's away at college and told him about tonight's win. He said, "Dad, that's insane! That's awesome! Congratulations." It was a wonderful moment to share with my son.

    Our kids played their hearts out and IMO, played their best game of the season by far. I realize we still have a little bit to go and we all know that now that Purdue took it to Iowa last night, they're going to be really, really tough at home. Still, I'm very hopeful that we have FINALLY punched our ticket to the dance. Way to go guys! You made us proud tonight.
     
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  10. richthedentist

    richthedentist All Conference
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    Great post BAC been a fan since 74-75 when my oldest brother started at Rutgers and of course had tickets all 4 years at Rutgers when I attended and have had them since I have been back in New Brunswick area since 89!! But this post brought tears to my eyes!! What a year at home and let’s keep it going!!
     
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  11. Sideline20

    Sideline20 All American
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    Bac - outstanding post / excellent summary- Coach Pikiell - "enjoy the journey"
     
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  12. NewJerseyHawk

    NewJerseyHawk Heisman Winner
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    I can only add that while the program put on a performance for the ages in spots over the years, this season has been about what I believe is unmatched media coverage by BTN.

    There are ways to electrify a.region and this has a different feel. The energy comes through the TV and sounds of all 3 levels of the RAC. There are venues that are a part of college basketball that we all know about from watching games.

    The program was powered by this fanbase. It has ultimately made the difference between what used to be and what it is now. It is difficult to explain how in post game interviews when Pike is interviewed on the court, he has a look of bewilderment or amazement.

    Jim Calhoun indirectly influenced Steve Pikiell to take this hideous job....he said the RAC was one of the toughest places he ever had to coach in, when that building is rocking. It was essentially saying, if you can get that building rocking and rolling, you can win at Rutgers...!!

    Well, the building rocks at Assembly Hall, Mackey Arena, Hawkeye Arena etc, and obviously the talented places of almost all of the B1G presents as challenges most nights.

    To counter attack those venues, where road wins are at a premium, our fans and folks reading this needed to answer the bell....could this "RAC" be back??....the building bac2therac and others preached about, sounded like the older callers talking about Mickey Mantle calling up WFAN back in its early years of SportsRadio....how that generation tried to explain to listeners who didn't know or see the game then.

    Now our games and energy come through the TV screen....the RAC is a real thing, in a real conference, with a real path towards the future and most importantly, powered by real fans.

    The players on this roster really seemed to learn and enjoy playing at the RAC and soaking in that energy this season, especially as it went forward. So as you start your Wednesday or rest of your week, my message is thanks to all of us here near campus and those rooting from far away. You can't have a true winning program, without a true home court advantage. Others have had it for years or decades, now it's back at Rutgers.
     
  13. shields

    shields Hall of Famer
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    Nice recap BAC, so happy right now and don't need any coffee this morning.
     
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  14. Greene Rice FIG

    Greene Rice FIG Hall of Famer
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    I guess it isn’t appropriate to mention we played zone a few possessions in this thread.

    season ticket holder for 15-20 years, graduate in 1993.
     
  15. PSAL_Hoops

    PSAL_Hoops Freshman
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    Great post. Question is - is RU be playing for Pike Saturday? What are his chances at BIG coach of the year with an 11-9 record?
     
  16. Degaz-RU

    Degaz-RU Heisman Winner
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    Well said, bac, but the thread title should be “Super Tuesday”.

    I was very worried about this game, as I’m sure all of us were. The team seemed nervous in recent first halves, falling behind by double digits repeatedly, and then only coming to life in the second halves. Perhaps just not knowing how to deal with success this year, and then being The Hunted.

    And then a soul crushing loss at Penn State. Could the team rebound from that heartbreak, with its NCAA tournament hopes slipping away, and #9 Maryland — a team that has had our number since we both joined the Big Ten — coming to the RAC?

    And damn did Pike have the team ready to go. We saw a full 40 minutes of relentless defense, guys defending and rotating like their hair was on fire. We saw a concerted effort to get out and run in transition. We saw multiple guys step up, especially Jacob and Tez, and that wonderful flourish by Geo toward the end of the first half. We saw other guys also provide key contributions, Ron and Kwasi with timely threes, defense and rebounding, Myles with stellar defense and rebounding, Paul with nice assists. And on and on.

    I don’t know if we’re in yet. I *think* we are. But on this Super Tuesday, the team was certainly all in and leaving it all out on the floor.

    Let’s just beat Purdue and lock this thing up and make it a Super 2020.
     
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  17. ScarletNut

    ScarletNut All Conference
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    Graduated RU in 1978. Bac describes everything since then on a personal level for me. The gap seems to have disappeared for me, feels like 1976 was last year! I’ve erased the negative times and in my mind, this team was recruited by Tom Young’s successor (Pike), and they came to RU because of Phil, Eddie, James, etc. F those 31 years, we’re a nationally respected program.
     
  18. RocktheRac

    RocktheRac Heisman Winner
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    Reminds me of those cold February days with Rice/Hill/Jordan when fans left with 10 minutes left in the game. NO MORE!!!!
     
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  19. newell138

    newell138 Heisman Winner
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    Reminiscent of the football team clinching that first bowl berth in the Schiano era
     
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  20. JQRU91

    JQRU91 Senior
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    These players came to RU because of Eddie. Yeah, let's go with that. :Wink:
     
  21. SirScarlet

    SirScarlet Hall of Famer
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    Great post bac!!
     
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  22. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo All American
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    My girlfriend’s dad always got us court side seats for the Nets games at the RAC. I still see her. We’ve been married 33 years now.

    The best part about those Nets days at the RAC was that you saw and actually could approach the players BEFORE the game. I got George Johnson (he of the Rick Barry taught underhand free throw) to sign my program as he chatted with me as a teenager. Johnson was a big imposing dude whose statue, and of course name, reminds me of our own Myles Johnson.

    “Super John” Williamson (RIP) also took the time before a game to sign my program and talk with me. He was built like a fullback and was unstoppable at the peak of his game. He was devouring a bucket of RAC popcorn and returned the program to me with his signature and the page smeared with butter...lol.
     
  23. RU1-Newtown_ Pa

    RU1-Newtown_ Pa Freshman
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    Bac, outstanding post.

    An evening for the history book of Rutgers basketball.

    Front and center, Matt Painter and Purdue.
     
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  24. RUonBrain

    RUonBrain All American
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  25. Scarlet_Scourge

    Scarlet_Scourge Hall of Famer
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    One of the best games in Rutgers history. We will all remember this game for years.
     
  26. ScarletNut

    ScarletNut All Conference
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    You missed my point. I was talking about Eddie the player, not the coach.
     
  27. bac2therac

    bac2therac Legend
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    Thank you but i am brewing three or four pots as we speak
     
  28. dconifer

    dconifer Senior
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    [I accidentally posted this on the football board, so I will add it here so you know you all know how I feel.]

    Sorry for the delay, I was too depressed, LOL.
    Not only did you win a big-time game in convincing fashion, you showed the country a big-time atmosphere.

    Good luck in the NCAAs.
     
  29. 1coastalknight

    1coastalknight Sophomore
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    Great stories by you guys. The GM. Of the Nets at that time was a good friend of one of our neighbors, so we attended a few games.
    Before one of the games a young writer comes up asks the G.M. A question he answers. Well the G.M. Says to us the Kids a good reporter but he thinks he knows it all.
    As I recall that reporter was a young Mike Lupica!!! You fella,s will know for sure if he was asking during that time.
     
  30. srru86

    srru86 Heisman Winner
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    Great Post
     
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  31. RW90

    RW90 All Conference
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    A lot of fans were still leaving with 10 minutes left, but now they're just the visitor's fans.
     
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  32. Mr_Twister

    Mr_Twister Heisman Winner
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    Jerry Izenberg-esque.
     
  33. jcrutgers

    jcrutgers Redshirt
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    Great post bac, I am right there with you. Freshman year at Rutgers was 1986, have had season tickets ever since.

    I remember many seasons leaving the RAC after the last home game thankful the torture was over, what a difference the past couple of years.
     
  34. RUJMM78

    RUJMM78 Heisman Winner
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    bac-always enjoy talking with you and your brother before games.Your love of the game and the trials and tribulations of being a long suffering Rutgers fan is shared with many alumni and other sports fans.This message is one of your all time great ones because it summarizes your lifetime experiences at the RAC.
     
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  35. RU516

    RU516 Redshirt
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    Great recap. What are your opinions on how the rotation is shaping up as we close in on march madness. Caleb’s minutes have been diminishing, but are we sure he should be treated as a benchwarmer? I get that JY and Mathis played extremely well and that cuts in to his minutes. Also interesting how Pike is treating the big man situation.
     
  36. LeapinLou

    LeapinLou All American
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    Although we haven't seen each other in a while, I still remember the young, muscular, guido-esque "Bac2TheRac" from the late 90s and early 21st century. Now you're an old man, lol.

    My freshman year at RU was Fall, 1983 so I just missed the last team to win an NCAA Tournament game. Can you believe I'm still waiting to see RU win one?

    Prior to enrolling at RU I honestly didn't pay much attention to college sports. I was a MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA fan. But something about Rutgers football and men's basketball got under my skin and I've been hooked ever since. I guess the Mets fan in me created a high threshold for failure but also a deep appreciation when things went well that no Yankees fan will ever understand.

    While I can't put last night on the same level as the '89 A-10 Championship (as you said, that will never be duplicated), it was very special.
     
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  37. G- RUnit

    G- RUnit All American
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    Wonderful post!! From another "old timer!"
     
  38. angmo

    angmo Junior
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    Thanks Bac. Great as usual. That was my favorite game since RU beat UNLV at the RAC. I was at that game and nobody knew it happened because UNLV was on probation and game wasn't televised.

    UNLV had no idea what hit them. Maryland had no idea either. Refs tried to keep it close, but gave up after RU all of a sudden became a 3 point juggernaut.

    Super fun game to watch. Favorite game of the season. Beat the refs and the number 9 team in the country in a walk.
     
  39. RU84

    RU84 Sophomore
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    A great night and a great season. I was a student during the 82-83 tournament run season, was at the PSU game in Wenzel's first year tournament team and became a season ticket holder in 90. During those season's and Water's run to the NIT final, the RAC rocked. I pined for a return to that experience. This year the RAC was back!
     
  40. RUPete

    RUPete Heisman Winner
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    The RAC popcorn is still legendary.
     
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