Friday, November 11, 2011. 11/11/11. The day of the wounded saints, when all eyes weep. It's a foggy night in Durham, North Carolina, but the Belmont Bruins can see through the mist. Cameron Indoor Stadium is in a state of shock and fear as the Bru-Crew take Duke right to the brink. With wide eyes, the Crazies watch Andre Dawkins hit a late 3-pointer. Their team escapes, and the Bruins slip out into the fog. "We were never here," they seem to whisper, but they know what they saw. They can never forget.
That's the start of my new historical fiction novel, The Eve of the Bruin. I actually don't remember what the weather was like that night, and the "wounded saints" bit was just a bit of dramatic flair, but the story of the game was true. On 11/11/11, the Bruins lost to the Blue Devils 77-76 in the first game of the season. The conclusion everyone drew at the time was, "Man, Duke is going to be terrible this year." The truth, though, is that Belmont is pretty damn good.