This week’s snowstorm has kind of made everyone forget for a minute about the other big story happening these days in Middle Georgia.
It’s the Mercer men’s basketball team, a team that’s on a roll.
Last week, Mercer claimed total ownership of a 13-point victory over defending A-Sun tournament champion Florida Gulf Coast, last year’s NCAA tournament darling, and then turned around two days later and completely overwhelmed Stetson, a team that is normally in the middle of the A-Sun pack.
The games were played in front of back-to-back sellout crowds, a rarity when it comes to just about anything in Middle Georgia, save for the Warner Robins-Northside football game or a deep tournament run by a Warner Robins American Little League team. And Mercer did not disappoint, treating the crowds to spectacular dunks, big defensive plays and some solid ball movement.
To insert some online jargon into this, Mercer basketball is definitely trending right now.
And there’s the rub. This Mercer basketball team could use a hashtag. It could use a special nickname or catch phrase, much like Florida Gulf Coast’s “Dunk City,” that people can start throwing around.
This team has the potential to do some special things come March. So why wait for the national media to slap its own hashtag on Mercer basketball should it come to that?
Mercer enters Friday’s game at East Tennessee State with a 17-5 record, and three of the four non-conference losses came to teams with winning records. By the time the Bears return home Feb. 13 for a game against Lipscomb, they could very well have 20 wins. And should they win the rest of the regular-season games and win the conference tournament, the Bears would enter the NCAA tournament with an incredible 29 wins.
There’s a long way to go, of course, but the success of the past couple of seasons (CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship in 2011-12, second-round NIT appearance last season) has led to this point.
So what kinds of nicknames, catch phrases or hashtags can we come up with?
Last week against Florida Gulf Coast, some people on Twitter were using the #mactown hashtag as a response to Dunk City. That’s not really a Mercer-centric tag, although the work the university has done with downtown and the College Hill project has developed a stronger connection between the city and the school. The #mactown hashtag has potential. But let’s open the floor to some more possibilities.
Maybe an old standby phrase like “Hoffman’s Heroes?” Maybe play off Southern cooking’s meat-and-three by using the catch phrase “Dunk and three?”
Hmmmm ... #dunkandthree. Ike Nwamu on the dunk, Anthony White Jr., Langston Hall and Bud Thomas on the 3-pointers. Nwamu is a walking highlight reel, while White, Hall and Thomas all rank in the top 10 in the conference in 3-point percentage. The more I think about that as a possible hashtag, the more I like it.
Have a better idea? Visit www.facebook.com/midgeorgiasports and share your nickname, catch phrase or hashtag for Mercer basketball. Let’s have a little fun with this. Who knows? Your idea just might go viral.
Contact Ron Seibel at 744-4222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.