Maverick Maniac's Musings

November 21, 2011

Fancy Seeing Your Here – A Rivalry Renewed – My 800 GP Piece on UNO-USD

Filed under: College Sports,Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 2:05 pm

This is not my recap, that is coming.  This is more about the experience of the game, the big picture of the situation UNO is in than the actual game itself. My game analysis is only one paragraph. But hopefully you enjoy my thoughts on where this program is too :).

I’ll share some of it, but you’ll have to click on over to midmajority to get the rest :).

From 1978 until 2008 Nebraska Omaha (UNO) and South Dakota were part of the North Central Conference and enjoyed yearly battle. The two schools made great competitors due to their proximity, just 2.5 hours apart. Over the years the two teams met in basketball 79 times with the record fittingly at 38-38-1. In 2007 the rivalry was ended as South Dakota announced they would move to Division I, while UNO decided to remain in Division II and join the MIAA. Traditional UNO fans had to give up the rivalries they had grown to love, and did their best to move on. All of that changed on March 13th 2011.

On March 13th 2011 UNO shocked the city by announcing they were cutting the football and wrestling programs, wrestling having just won the DII National Title the night before, and moving to Division I to join the Summit League. Most fans were furious. Cutting two of the most popular sports at UNO was a decision that people (including myself) were not willing to accept. Great tradition was lost, but lurking in the darkness of that day was the fact that some great rivalries were renewed with North Dakota State, South Dakota State, and the Coyotes of South Dakota!

The final score read 83-81, but this game wasn’t about the score. This game was about tradition being resumed, two familiar foes resuming their battle, and a program and an university moving on from a difficult March day into a bright November afternoon. Basketball is going to be an important part of the UNO experience in the future. The school and fans will long for the day that they get to play in the Big Dance and pray for the day that they upset that big name team. But what is going to make this special for UNO is going to be games like I saw on Sunday. It’s going to be games between two old rivals that are finally together again, where each possession matters, and both groups of fans are going to go home proud of their school and the effort shown on the court.

South Dakota, it’s good to be back.


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