This is why I never bet on sports events.
How in the world, I would have asked you before Friday night, could the Charlotte 49ers ever hope to beat Tennessee?
The 49ers’ roster was severely depleted due to injuries and new coach Alan Major’s dismissal of Shamari Spears, the team’s best and most problem-plagued big man.
I watched the 49ers get absolutely hammered in the second half at Davidson last week, losing by 14 to the Wildcats.
Tennessee, meanwhile, was ranked No.7 and coming off an upset loss to Oakland. Surely the Volunteers would be primed and ready for this one.
No, they weren’t, and stop calling me Shirley.
The 49ers, fittingly, scored 49 points. That was just enough to beat the Vols by one, 49-48, Friday in a game I didn’t attend but wish I had.
Charlotte (5-6) totally outplayed a wilting Tennessee squad down the stretch, paced by playmaking guards Jamar Briscoe and Derrio Green. And Major totally outcoached Tennessee loudmouth Bruce Pearl, keeping the game at exactly the languid pace the 49ers needed to thrive.
The win came at the Charlotte Bobcats’ home arena, where there hasn’t been much excitement this season given the Bobcats’ 9-17 start.
But on this nutty night, some Charlotte fans – 49ers, not Bobcats – got to storm the court.
This was the first signature victory of Major’s very first season at Charlotte, one that the coach no doubt will remember 30 years from now.
It’s the sort of win that can start to make believers of a lot of people – including me.