He tosses a couple blades of grass in the air and watches them blow away. Turning back to his caddie, a smile spreads across Roy McAvoy's face as he says, "This is everything, ain't it? This is the choice it comes down to; this is our immortality."
You know the situation for tonight: lose and it's over, win and things get interesting. The players obviously know it too. On the day of the game, the gravity of the situation is apparent in everything that takes place. Guys making eye contact and giving a little head nod goes from meaning, "What's up?" on any normal day to meaning, "Let's do this." People you haven't heard from in months are texting you to tell you they'll be watching. Facebook is covered in messages expressing support.
Once you walk in the gym, it's no different. The Harvard student section will be in there early, loud and obnoxious as always during warmups. If an "errant" outlet pass during layup lines happens to connect with the head of a particularly noisy coed, well, she shouldn't have been standing there. Lavietes is no Palestra, but I assure you that place will be hot, loud, and filled to capacity as it should be for this game.
As the players leave their respective huddles and prepare for the tip, Zack Rosen will take one or two last jumps with his knees to his chest and Rob will survey the court, looking like he's about to kill somebody. My one hope is that those two, along with Tyler, Mike, and Larry take one brief moment to survey the scene around them and think, "This is everything ain't it?".