The best thing that happened on Wednesday in the college basketball world had nothing to do with Syracuse, or Arizona State, or Texas Southern.
It was LSU vs. Louisiana.
Or, more specifically, Will Wade vs. Bob Marlin.
It started with something that Marlin, the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, said prior to the game. He believed that his team deserved a home game instead of being the No. 6 seed that had to play on the road in the NIT opener.
There’s a lot to digest here:
“Our RPI is much better, our record is much better, we feel like our gym’s better, there are a lot of things that say we should be a higher seed than we were. We’ve got the second-best record in the entire tournament out of 32 teams, but it is what it is.”
“We haven’t gotten an answer yet. There’s a lot of the old-school guys on that committee that just think LSU’s better than we are. They haven’t seen our facilities or looked at the finer print about our team.”
“But we’re excited to play a short trip, and I think LSU will be excited to play. Sometimes, a team that tied for ninth in their league isn’t interested in playing. But they haven’t been very good for a couple of years, so the NIT is a big step for them.”
If you don’t think LSU noticed, you’re wrong. They quite literally had the press conference where Marlin made those comments playing on a loop in their basketball facility with the sound on. The handshake the two hand before the game was cold, and that was just the start of it.
After an intense game, Wade called a timeout up 84-75 with just 12.4 seconds left and … well, you can see how he reacted. In the video above. Here’s another angle of the dust-up, where Marlin had to be held back from charging at Wade:
That led to Marlin blowing off Wade in the handshake line, which did not go over well and resulted in the two teams having their own dust-up that didn’t actually make the TV broadcast:
And that’s when it got really good.
I mean really good.
Because Wade went scorched earth in the press conference after the game. You can see the videos below, but I’m going to pull out a couple of the best quotes:
“By the way, we play in an arena. Not a gym.”
“Well, since they don’t get to play us very often, I thought they should sit there and enjoy the opportunity to play us.”
“I was a little disappointed and thought it would be a two-seven type matchup instead of a three-six-type matchup.”
In the words of the VCU War Song
“Don’t start no stuff, won’t be no stuff.”