Hi y'all. I bring you this decent-ish fanpost, from myself, a man who has made 5 or 6 total comments on this website. This Basketball season has truly been a dream. I've been a Dores fan since I was 8 (I'm 14 now.) I don't remember why. I knew nothing about them. I live in Washington State. But I felt like I should be one. And I've learned everything about them. This season is my first where I've REALLY followed the school sports. And knowing that we were supposed to be the 12th best team in the conference (according to CBS), this season has been better than I've ever imagined.
It started out as expected, y'know. Losing to Southern Miss, Grambling, hell, almost Alabama A&M and Wofford. We got a nice win over Pitt of course, but we started as about the 12th best team in the conference. Then conference play came. And... we started as expected. Beating UoSC in a close one, losing to Missouri and also The School To The East. Beating arkansas, but losing to bama. Beating Georgia, getting destroyed by UK. Close L to aTm, but then getting absolutely murdered by Football University.
At this point, we're 3-6 in conference play. Nobody expects anything. But then we play Ole Miss. I'm doing some chores in my backyard, and I see that our game vs Ole Miss is close. I tune in and watch it, and we won in a very close battle.
At this point, I haven't been able to watch a full Vandy game since we beat SELA, and a full good game since we beat Pitt. Eager to tune into a Vanderbilt game for the first time, I tune into the game vs. the You Know The Team. The Orange one. I'm more hopeful than the average fan going into this one. I know that we only lost by 9 on the road. I say in a CBB discord server the night before the game, "This one's gonna be closer than you expect." I was right.
First half, I'm confident we can hold on. We've been playing better than them the whole half, and despite being down, I know that if can keep up this good, we would win easily. In the second half I get VERY worried. Down by 2, 15 seconds left. We need to foul them FIVE TIMES in FIFTEEN SECONDS. We do it. Vescovi goes to the line, I think it's over. He misses the front end. Lawrence gets the rebound and we get it across half-court. I think we're gonna go for the 2-pointer and head to overtime. Manjon confirms that they're playing for OT. But he's crowded by a couple Vols. He finds Lawrence on the corner. He drills that thing. I run from my living room into my bedroom and dive on my bed, screaming "OH MY GOD, WE F**KING DID IT!!!!!!!!!" We just upset a top 10 ranked team in college basketball, and our greatest rival, on a buzzer beating three from behind. I still can't believe it. Our at-large hopes had a blink of hope. Then we beat Florida in a pretty close one in Gainesville. Robbins was amazing. We destroy UoSC. Then Auburn came. I wasn't able to tune into this one till the Final 5. But we did it. Despite a late foul and full court shot barely missing, Manjon won the game for us.
Then, on my 14th birthday, we play LSU. An easy win.
It was not, my friends, an easy win. We choked it. And knowing we were gonna lose to Kentucky on Wednesday, our at-large hopes were dead.
Then Robbins got injured. We were sure gonna lose.
But Memorial Magic can strike at any time. Even away from the Memorial. We survived a very late wildcat run with a nice Jordan Wright fadeaway.
Fellow Dores fans, I know for a fact most of y'all don't know how difficult this is.
Three Must-win games. And we won them all, on last minute buzzer beaters.
I can't find CBB data on this, so I'm gonna use NBA data. Sorry for not great accuracy here cause it's a bad source. No team has hit game winning buzzer beaters 3 times in a year in 82 GAMES since 2016-17. We did it in 3 times in 7 games.
To quote Jon Bois, from the SB Nation documentary series "History of the Seattle Mariners", "It's so beautifully, obnoxiously fake. The superstar slides home to beat the bad guy." Replace "Slides Home" with "Hits a three", and you have the Dores recently.
Liam Robbins is out, but Memorial magic will ALWAYS continue.
Anchor. The. Hell. Down.
This team has won so many miraculous games, and we will continue. Go Vandy forever and always.