Guys, below is a reprint of Wilson Daily Times assistant sports editor Paul Durham's recent blog entry in support of voting for Barton College's mens basketball team for an ESPY award, which will be given out later next month.
Normally, being a N.C. Wesleyan graduate, I wouldn't advocate doing anything sports-wise for the rival Bulldogs, but I am taking an exception here.
The last minute of Barton's Div. II national championship game was incredible. Sadly, I saw only the last three minutes of the contest - but I was screaming at the top of my lungs when the clock hit zero!
Take time to watch the video clip (click on the link in the blog entry) and re-live those final moments - then vote for the Bulldogs in the ESPY balloting!
The Bulldogs need your vote!
By Paul Durham
Assistant Sports Editor, Wilson Daily Times
Seriously, if you saw it, you can't forget it.
Now you can help make Barton College's incredible victory in the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship even more memorable.
The Bulldogs are up for a coveted ESPY Award, given annually by ESPN to top performers and moments from the previous non-calendar year.Barton's stirring 77-75 defeat of previously unbeaten Winona State (Minn.) University in the Div. II national championship had ESPY all over it the day it happened.Bulldogs senior point guard Anthony Atkinson scored 10 points in 45 seconds as Barton overcame a seven-point deficit to win by a point on Atkinson's buzzer-beater layup.
The team is one of four finalists in the newly created category Best Finish.
You can vote here as often as you like.
Originally, ESPN told Barton officials that, in addition to the Best Finish category, Atkinson would be up for Best Championship Performance as well.
"Obviously, ESPN decided to revise things a little bit," said Barton Director of Athletics Gary Hall, who indicated he was unsure why that was. My guess is that the powers-that-be at self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports decided that tiny little Barton College should just get one nomination.
That's fine because the Bulldogs should win it.
I say "Should" because, despite lesser competition, it's not a slam-dunk, given their virtual anonymity.
One challenger, the Preakness finish, is nearly as anonymous.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' four straight home runs in the ninth-inning to tie the San Diego Padres was remarkable but it was an otherwise non-descript regular-season game.
Kevin Harvick's thrilling .02-seconds win against Mark Martin at the Daytona 500 carries some weight but it's hardly the first NASCAR photo-finish.
No one has ever seen anything like Atkinson and the Bulldogs' frantic finish to knock off Winona.
If you factor in Atkinson's two other buzzer-beaters in the three Elite Eight games in Springfield, Mass., it's a no-brainer.
All we can do is hope — and vote.