THIS IS THE tale of one game and two basketball teams, as well as the ramifications of Marshall's 75-71 men's basketball victory over West Virginia.
There certainly will be a few.
First, let's look at the possible outgrowth for the Thundering Herd. With the MU fan base titillated, it's bound to translate into a bump in crowd size for this Saturday's Herd home game against East Carolina.
Marshall coach Tom Herrion has become The Man in his first season at the school. He perhaps doesn't even realize how his stature grew in the eyes of Marshall fans. At least he claimed that immediately after the victory.
"Probably not,'' he said.
Makes sense. He's not from the Mountain State. Also, he went directly to Huntington from a Pittsburgh program that plays big games every few nights.
"I'll reflect at the end of the year," he said. "I don't know. It means we beat a really good team, a team that's in the Top 25, shortly removed from the Final Four. They were playing their best basketball, coming off a tremendous win against Purdue the other day.
"It means we played really well. We beat a good team. Obviously, I'm really thrilled. I'm happy for our players, my staff and the entire Marshall fan base. It's a great game for the state of West Virginia."
Perhaps a hint it was Herrion's day came when a flying object hit the Civic Center floor Wednesday night during a heated moment. Herrion, of course, was nicked by a thrown coin last year when Pitt played the Mountaineers at the Coliseum.
Whatever the case, if Herrion didn't realize the magnitude of the victory to his team's fans on Wednesday, he undoubtedly does today.
"I'm happy for them," said the coach. "It's a lot of what I talked about when I was hired. It's a lot about what people have talked to me about: the people and the passion of the Herd nation. It was exhibited [Wednesday night] not only by our team, but by our great fans. The support they offered and the environment they helped create was great."
Other than building Herrion's stature, what does it mean for MU? We'll see. Aside from the immediate little bump in ticket sales, it's up to the Thundering Herd team. It can build on the win and make it a significant moment, or it can relax and make it the highlight of the season.
WVU? Well, there certainly will be a couple ramifications. First, Bob Huggins' practice sessions undoubtedly just got tougher. Second, the Mountaineers will drop out of the Top 25 just one week after making the grade.
After that, though, it's also up to the players. If they play well the rest of the season against a brutally tough schedule, the loss could be just a speed bump. According to the CBSSports.com Rating Percentage Index and RealTimeRPI.com, WVU was still No. 13 on Thursday afternoon. If the Mountaineers reach 20 wins and break even within the Big East standings, an NCAA berth is still there for the taking.