Central Florida’s campus is the home to a bar and grill called Burger U, and Burger U offers a side item that I had never heard of before. Well, actually, the side item is common, but the dipping sauce accompanying it was truly unique.
We’ll come back to that.
There was a basketball game played between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the UCF Knights in the arena just across the street from the heavenly side item that you’ll learn about shortly. The Bearcats (14-5, 5-2) traveled to Orlando without a conference road win to their credit. And although UCF (9-10, 2-6) is no stalwart, the Knights are no slouch, especially at home. Back on New Year’s Eve, UCF battled conference leader Tulsa for 40 minutes, only to lose by a single bucket. The Knights also played Top 20 RPI SMU tough, eventually losing by nine.
Cincinnati had played two road games in conference play and lost both—-to UConn and Memphis. The Bearcats turned the ball over 37 times combined in those two L’s, so the coaching staff no doubt preached valuing the basketball coming into the game at CFE Arena on Sunday.
UCF wasn’t scared. After a Daiquan Walker trey just after the 10:00 mark, the Knights took an 18-12 lead. But the Bearcats, as is customary, would clamp down, allowing just one more made field goal the rest of the first half, taking a 29-24 lead into the locker room.
The Bearcats came out with good energy in the 2nd half, and after a Farad “Salad” Cobb (more on that nickname later) steal and conversion with 12:35 to go, UC stretched its lead out to nine. But UCF answered with a thunderous right-handed slam by Kasey Wilson, a three-ball by Adonys Henriquez and a lay-up by Brandon Goodwin, while UC managed a single free throw by Shaq “Captain 1-For-2” Thomas.
We’ve got a ballgame. UC 42, UCF 39.
But then Troy “Clyde” Caupain took over, scoring the next five for UC while Goodwin notched a bucket in between, and then a three by Kevin Johnson stretched UC’s lead out to nine again. From there, the Bearcats played exceptional defense and made their free throws down the stretch, eventually leaving the building with a 56-46 victory. UC committed just nine turnovers in the ballgame.
Not to be lost in the shuffle was the defensive gem right before Johnson’s triple. Kasey Wilson drove the lane hard, went up for the shot……and was REJECTED by Jermaine “Far Rockaway Style” Sanders with the right hand. That five-point swing likely sealed the win for Larry Davis and the ‘Cats.
UC now sits at #28 in the RPI (ESPN.com) and third place in the American Conference. A home game against UConn looms this coming Thursday.
Now, back to Burger U on UCF’s campus. The taste-bud-tantalizing side dish was an order of waffle sweet potato fries with marshmallow dipping sauce. Oh baby. Oh baby. I’m telling you. If UC plays in Orlando next season, you better get your behind down there and get yourself some-a that. You’ll thank me repeatedly for the rest of your natural life.
(P.S. As for “Farad Salad” —- I was out with friends down here in Tampa and Cobb salad was on the menu, so I asked, “Do you think when it’s all said and done, it’ll be called a Farad salad?” After taking a few seconds to realize what I meant, laughter followed by a token “You’re out of your mind, Jux” declaration ensued. So if you see or hear me refer to Farad Cobb as “Salad,” now you know why.)
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