By Ray Hamill — Usually the closest game to call in the opening round of a 16-team tournament is the No. 8 versus No. 9 matchup, and lucky for us we get two of them here on the North Coast on Friday night.
The College of the Redwoods men’s and women’s basketball teams each received a No. 8 seed and will host their playoff opener in a compelling doubleheader of action against No. 9 seeds Sacramento City and Skyline, respectively.
Both Corsairs squads, however, have one big advantage over their opponents — the home crowd.
Neither CR team has lost at home all season, with each posting a 7-0 record in front of what have been packed houses or close to them at every game.
Both teams have fed off those large crowds and the energy they have brought to the arena, and the fans in turn have fed off the teams’ success, a success that has been built on playing an exciting brand of basketball.
Not only are they good, but they’re fun to watch.
Expect all of that to continue on Friday night, with all 800 tickets for the games selling out in a matter of hours this week.
The CR gym will be full and it will be loud, and it will be an atmosphere neither Skyline nor Sacramento City will have faced all season.
And that’s good news for the Corsairs.
It’s time to make the home-court advantage work.