Pack fever grips Nevada
Health alert: Wolf Pack fever has gripped most of Nevada and isolated parts of the country. Wear Silver and Blue to protect yourself.
Wolf Pack basketball fans are afflicted with Nevada pride for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs.
The men’s program has now advanced to the Sweet 16 in Atlanta, something the program hasn’t done since 2004 when Nevada punched its ticket for the ride to St. Louis. Nevada faces Loyola-Chicago on Thursday.
Both the 2004 and 2018 teams are similar. They play with intensity and believe in themselves. To advance to the Sweet 16 in 2004, the Pack defeated two well-coached teams: Gonzaga and Michigan State.
Within the past week, the Wolf Pack faced two Herculean tasks. Down by double digits in both games, Nevada rallied to defeat Texas in overtime and No. 2 seeded Cincinnati in the last 9 seconds of their game on Sunday in Nashville. Down 22 points, Nevada came back for a 75-73 win in Music City. Already, the elevator music is interspersed with noted sportscaster Al Michaels repeating, “Do you believe in miracles?”
Just like the 2004 team, the 2018 edition believes in themselves and their coach, Eric Musselman, who has assembled a talented squad that won the CBI championship two years ago and received a bid to the NCAA tournament last year. We’ll remember players such as Jordan Caroline, Caleb and Cody Martin, Josh Hall and Kendall Stephens.
Nevada’s comeback on Sunday is second only to a 2012 First Four game when BYU came back from a 25-point deficit to beat Iona.
“The locker room right now, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said after the Cincinnati game. “It’s the happiest I’ve ever seen. It’s the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I couldn’t be more proud of a team. This feeling is never going away the rest of our lives. We just didn’t quit, you know.”
The women’s team won its second Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) game on Monday, defeating Fresno State on the opponent’s home court. T Moe led the Pack with 34 points and now sits eighth with 1,119 career points. Nevada, which had a heart-breaking loss in the Mountain West final against Boise earlier this month, has also captured our hearts with their grit and determination to keep the season going.
The Wolf Pack women made believers of Nevada fans when they led Boise for most of the title game but only to lose at the buzzer, 62-60, in Las Vegas. It was a disappointing loss, but the Wolf Pack fans who attended the game gave the women a standing ovation.
Nevada has won two postseason tournament games for the first time in program history and is two wins away from capturing its first postseason title. The Nevada women are on the road for their third game at Central Arkansas on Saturday.
To the Nevada program and fans and believers, go Wolf Pack and thank you for players and coaches for your hard work and believing in yourselves during this postseason. It’s Silver and Blue day on Thursday and Saturday.