Varsity Basketball Preview

20th April 2015

Venue: Capital FM Arena
Date: Monday 27th April 2015 (Ladies’: 17:30, Men’s: 20:15)

Women’s basketball pre-match interview:

Men’s basketball pre-match interview:

It begins with basketball. A sport which has grown over the last few years to become one of the first fixtures fans look for when booking their Varsity tickets, basketball this year has the honour of starting the series.

Two years ago the event moved to the Capital FM Arena. Naturally this increased the crowd significantly, and although still falling short of the sell-out sales that the Ice Hockey game attracts, the attendance of 4,426 last year was double that achieved in the inaugural year at Nottingham’s largest indoor arena.

It’s on an upward trend – a bit like our basketball teams. Since the event upgraded venue the University of Nottingham hasn’t lost a match in this sport in either the men’s or women’s event. Last year was particularly comfortable, with the women running out 61-20 victors and the men chalking up a 75-43 win.

Uni’s women’s team have run riot in the BUCS Midlands 2A division this campaign, topping the table with 10 wins from 10. More tellingly than even the wins column though was the goal difference. UoN’s was 763, the other five teams in the division all finished with negative goal difference.

It makes them clear favourites to give Uni a 1-0 lead in Varsity. In addition to their outstanding league season, the girls in green and gold won the Midlands Conference Cup. They beat East Anglia in the final, the team who topped Midlands 2B in BUCS, a division in which Trent finished 5th out of 6 with 3 wins and 7 losses.

For UoN’s men’s team, last year’s Varsity win might not be too much of a predictor for this year bearing in mind the turnover of players. They finished a respectable 3rd this year, although it was relatively distant to a Derby and Oxford Brookes pair of sides that dominated the division.

The key though is that that division was Midlands 1A. While the University of Nottingham were comfortable in that league, Nottingham Trent had a slightly worse season, and at a level lower too. They finished second from bottom in Midlands 2A, with 3 wins and 7 defeats.

There is an exhibition wheelchair basketball match, but it could turn out to be an exhibition by both the UoN men’s and women’s teams on the night. The form books suggest so. Sport isn’t played on paper, but the University of Nottingham has every right to be confident going into the first evening of Varsity. As long as that confidence doesn’t translate into complacency, the scheduling of basketball as the opening event of the series could be a brilliant tone-setter for “Unay”.

For full live coverage of the event, tune in to URN Sport from 7pm.