The Basketball Tournament: Elam Ending highlights from Red Scare's third-round victory
The No. 3 seed Red Scare beat No. 6 CitiTeam 75-70 on Sunday, the No. 2 Golden Eagles 62-56 on Tuesday and the No. 1 The Money Team 83-81 on Wednesday.
Best Virginia has a 6-2 record in three TBT appearances. It was 1-1 in 2019 and 2-1 last year. It entered the 2020 tournament as well but had to withdraw because of positive COVID tests. This week, it beat Virginia Dream 75-45, Herd That (Marshall) 89-79 and the Bucketneers (East Tennessee State) 63-62 to reach the quarterfinals.
The Best Virginia roster includes Dayton native Juwan Staten, who played one season at Dayton (2010-11) and three seasons at West Virginia. He’s averaging 6.3 points in three games. The team’s top scorer, forward Kevin Jones (15.0 points per game), scored 1,822 points (2008-12) in his West Virginia career.
The Dayton Flyers alumni team is the lowest-seeded team remaining in the tournament. Five No. 1 seeds, and two No. 2 seeds also reached the quarterfinals.
The Aftershocks played at home in their first four games. Best Virginia played in their home state, in Charleston, if not on their old home court in Morgantown. The Buffalo team won three games in Syracuse, N.Y.
Only one team has a home-court edge now: the Red Scare. The crowd numbered 2,619 on Wednesday. That was far short of the crowd of 4,569 that watched the Aftershocks play in Wichita on Friday, but the Dayton fans have willed their team to victory by raising the decibels.
“It looks great on TV,” Mugar said. “The fans who are out here are so animated and loud. There’s definitely a sixth man in the stands, and it’s played a huge role in the team advancing. Every team that plays them, we talk to them after, and they love it. They say it’s hard to play here, but they love the energy and the atmosphere. So it’s definitely an advantage.”
On the court, the Red Scare continue to make the most of their full roster. All 10 players have seen double-digit minutes in all three games. Every player scored Wednesday. Nine players had at least one rebound.
Seven years ago, three of the Red Scare players didn’t have that luxury. Jordan Sibert, Scoochie Smith and Darrell Davis all played for the seven-man team that finished 27-9 and won two NCAA tournament games. They faced constant questions that season about their fatigue, and they faced another Wednesday after their third game in four days.
“How are feeling?” they were asked in the postgame press conference.
“We don’t get tired,” said Smith with a laugh, echoing his answers from 2015.
“It’s the same motto,” Davis said.
Red Scare coach Joey Gruden said the plan for the off day Thursday was to let the players rest as much as possible.
“Let them sleep in,” Gruden said. “Stretch. Rehab. All that good stuff. Take the day completely off. Focus up mentally and get ready to go again. We’ve got six games in 10 days. It’s a good thing we’ve got 10 guys. We’re good. We’re ready to go. They don’t get tired, like Scooch said.”
Blue Collar vs. Heartfire, 7 p.m., ESPN
Red Scare vs. Best Virginia, 9 p.m., ESPN
Red Scare press conference: July 27, 2022