Final Four fever hits Augusta

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock; March 27, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It all comes down to tonight, a chance for the Augusta State Jaguars to make it to the Division 2 National Championship. The game is going on in Massachusetts, but lots of fans are packing into the Jaguar Student and Activities Center on the ASU Campus to catch the game.

"We're gonna win tonight man," says one student.

That's the word all across the campus, as the Augusta State Jaguars, for the first time ever, are in the Division 2 Men's Final Four.

"You're watching the March Madness Division 1 teams, this is our March Madness now for Division 2. But, we're still going to come home with the championship," says supporter Rudy Moore.

Not such an easy shot, but a possibility. It's one that did not come without some tense moments in Wednesday's Elite Eight.

"Everybody was so excited. When we went to overtime, it was like, 'oh man.' When it went to double overtime, it was like, 'Oh, thank you Jesus!' Once we won, everyone was like, 'Oh, we won, thank God'," says Rudy.

Now, it's Final Four time. Tip time for the Jags as they take on a team about 4,500 miles away from Augusta: the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.

"Now, we are up here again, trying to watch the game again. We're going to have another atmosphere, going be ready, rooting on our teams and hopefully come back with a championship," says Rudy.

A swish tonight and that dream could become reality. The Jags would play for the D-2 Championship on Saturday.

"Everybody's coming in with blue and white on, (saying) ASU Jags and everything. I'm coming in the Jaguar uniform. We really want that championship," says Rudy.

A coast to coast dream for this small school.

"It puts us on the map. This is a small school. We don't have a football team, so for us, this is it," says supporter Chris Spencer.

Of course, if a call doesn't go Rudy's way, he says, "I'm mad. I'm going try to talk to the referee now, call him on the cell phone. But, I guess he's not going to pick up because he's going to be busy."

News 12 asking, "Ideal game for you at the end of the day, what would be the score?"

Rudy answering, "Blowout. 100 to 43. I'd be happy with that."

News 12 asking, "So, no double overtime game like yesterday?"

Rudy answering, "No, I'm too old for that!"


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