Rivalry renewed for a fourth time this season

By: Matt Barnes Email
By: Matt Barnes Email

There's no doubt Augusta State versus USC Aiken is the biggest rivalry in the CSRA. But the rivalry is heading to a whole new level tomorrow night.

"We're very excited to still be playing on Tuesday," said ASU junior Ben Madgen. "It's going to be just a great matchup. Two really good teams going at it again. Every game we've played this year has been close."

They've already played three times this year. Both squads winning at home in the regular season. But last week, the Jags beat the Pacers on their home floor by one point in teh rubber match to win the conference tournament. So how will the fourth game turn out?

"I think when you play a team four times, it's not about X's and O's anymore," said USCA senior Cody Ballard. "It's about defense and heart. That's what it's gonna come down to."

"Everybody knows it's going to be a battle," said ASU senior Steve Smith. "Just going to be a battle of toughness. And both teams are tough."

Of course, this game is more than just the fourth edition of a great rivalry. It's also the regional final and the winner of this game is moving on to the Elite Eight in Springfield, Massachusetts. Thus truly making this the biggest game of the season.

"It'd be kind of a history-making moment. It'd be good to beat them," said USCA senior Chris Commons. "I feel like it wouldn't be fitting if we didn't beat them to get to the Elite Eight so I'm glad we're in the championship game with them."

"For the seniors, this is the last time we get to see this crowd and it'd be great to go to Massachusetts," said Smith.

And while each team disagrees about how will win the game, they can agree on one thing. Christenberry Fiedhouse is going to be rocking Tuesday night.

"I think it'll be great," said USCA head coach Vince Alexander. "I think it will be a great atmosphere and try to come in here and execute and try to do he things we do and hopefully and God-willing, win a regional championship."

"Everybody wanted this game and I think this is the biggest local game in a long, long time around here," said ASU head coach Dip Metress. "So get here early and I don't have any tickets."


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