Remembering the Cajuns and Jags – From the Bird’s Nest
Louisiana and South Alabama meet Thursday night at the Cajundome. The Cajuns will be looking for their eighth straight win in conference play.
And, for those who have followed the Cajuns during their time in the Sun Belt Conference, there are many memories of games between the two teams. Some are good..some not so good.
I thought about going back and looking up all the particulars and then realized I could share some memories without the research.
Here's what I'm coming up with.
The Cajuns' first year in the Sun Belt, Louisiana came back from a 20 point deficit in the second half to force overtime and stole a victory. The game was televised and was on Super Bowl Sunday.
The following year, however, the Jaguars stunned the Cajuns in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt tournament after dropping two games to Louisiana during the regular season.
There was the Mac Chauvin game. The long time official tossed the late Bill Mussleman in the final minute a Cajun victory. The fiery coach screamed obscenities at Chauvin as he left. I remember Scott Brazda showing a clip of Musselman and suggested he was saying "It's not FUN anymore." I still laugh when I think about that.
The same Mussleman went off in a post game press conference the following year after losing to the Cajuns for the second time. He mentioned the Cajuns "jack up threes" and was livid when first year Cajun assistant Robert Lee said "2-0 against South Alabama." He tried to explain his comment. Lee just shrugged and said "2-0."
South Alabama then held the Cajuns to 39 points in the league tournament that same season in Marty Fletcher's last game as the Cajuns' coach.
The teams met in the tournament final at the Cajundome in Jessie Evans' first season and over 9.000 fans went home disappointed when the Cajuns fell just short, 62-59.
Two years later, Evans and the Cajuns got revenge when Lonnie Thomas hit a short turnaround jumper with three seconds remaining to give the Cajuns an improbable 51-50 win and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
There was the game when Randell Daigle hit a 30 footer as the game clock expired to give the Cajuns a 67-65 win. Jags' coach Ronnie Arrow was apoplectic because there was no courtside monitor to review the play (that didn't become mandatory until the following season.) The Dome replay, however, showed Daigle's shot was good. The referees were long gone by then.
The Cajuns hadn't won a road game in a calendar year when Bob Marlin took his first Cajuns' team to Mobile. The Cajuns got a 20 rebound performance from Travis Bureau in breaking that losing streak.
And, who can forget the recent game when the two teams got a little chippy. A total of seven technical fouls were called in that game at the Cajundome.
Will another chapter be written Thursday night? Stay tuned.