Varsity 2013: Men’s Basketball Pre-Match Report

11th February 2013

Nottingham Uni 1st vs Nottingham Trent 1st

Location: Capital FM arena. Tip off: 11th February 2013 7.45pm

This Monday sees the next instalment of the 2013 Charity Varsity series. It is the second round of competition in the series, with the women’s Basketball match and Netball game sharing centre stage with Men’s Basketball on the 11th. The Uni of Nottingham (UoN) camp is confident they can bounce back from the resounding 28-0 defeat inflicted upon them in this year’s opening event, the American Football.

Following last season’s successful campaign, which culminated in promotion to BUCS Midland Division 1A, UoN are now a division above Trent. This means the encounter at the Capital FM arena will be the first between the two teams this season.

Trent have played 7 games, winning 2 and losing 5, struggling to find some consistent form all year; On the other hand, UoN have won 4 and lost 3 of their 7 games. Not only are they still in the hunt to win the league but also progressing strongly in the cup. On paper this suggest a routine win for UoN but having a league game on the previous Wednesday and a cup game just 2 days after the match, the Midlands division 1A team could suffer from both physical and mental exhaustion. Combined with the unique atmosphere of a Varsity crowd and the fact that, for the first time, the game will be held at the 4000-capacity Capital FM Arena, a Trent loss is far from guaranteed.

The 2012 Varsity game saw Trent run out 74-58 winners to conclude ‘Super Wednesday’ at the Clifton Campus. A combination of home field advantage and that UoN’s were forced to field their 2nd team, due to a date clash with a pivotal 1st team Cup match, was more than enough to ensure a Trent victory. This year will be a different game, not least because of the new, much larger venue in addition to Nottingham being able to field a virtually full strength team.

Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning that UoN’s sport director Dan Tilley has told the head coach to rest some players ahead of their big BUCS championship game on Wednesday. The likes of Aaron Brown and Jeff Smith could be watching from the stands, and the superior quality that Nottingham possesses, as highlighted by the two teams’ respective league standings, could be negated.

The two teams are fully aware that the crowd will be a huge factor in encouraging their University so it’s important to have as many Nottingham students present as possible. If you can’t get down to the Capital FM arena on Monday however, tune into www.urn1350.net where there will be build-up, live commentary and post-match analysis of the game from 7pm.

Dave Akosim, Luke Baker & Sachin Gosai