Went to Dayton for the 1st/2nd Round in 2009. Watching Siena beat Ohio State with a crazy 3 to force OT and another to win the game was insane. Lots of OSU fans at the game, so it was extra sweet.
What are you favorite personal NCAA tournament stories?
Way back when, in 1988 a buddy and I went to Crisler to watch the Michigan - illinois game; we got curb-stomped by 20 points. I can't tell you how redeeming it felt when we took them out in the Final Four, on the way to Glen and the boys shocking the world!
Was at the first two rounds a regional in Milwaukee in 1992. The first days games were a total dud. Tickets way up in the nosebleed section of the Bradley Center and four, 20 point games that were never really close. I was very disappointed to have not seen anything approaching an upset. About the only highlight was the entire arena booing Harold "Baby Jordan" Minor when he did his free throw shooting routine (putting it through his legs and behind his back before shooting IIRC). What I never thought about was that an opening round with no upsets sets up an incredibly good second round.
So two days later, a 8-inch snowfall hits Milwaukee. Doesn't keep us from getting to the arena, but does prevent a bunch of other people. My dad, my brother, and I scope out some seats during the first game on the lower level and, during one of the TV timeouts, move down to seats about 12 rows off the floor in the corner by a bunch of USC fans. The first game is excellent. Penny Hardaway's Memphis State team beats one of Nolan Richardson's '40 minutes of hell' Arkansas teams on a shot with about 5 seconds left. The second game is Georgia Tech - USC. Close all the way. USC's band droning on and on, playing nothing but that awful fight song over and over. Fans next to us doing the damned salute to victory hand motion. USC hits a shot to go up 1 or 2 with about 2 second left. USC fans go nuts.
Then this happened...
I'll never forget watching that game on TV as a high schooler. What an amazing game to see in person!!
I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once.
And this is why UF fans should feel betrayed today: Because Meyer took over a program from Ron Zook that was national championship-ready and left a program that is barely Beef O'Brady's Bowl-eligible. And, worse, he was disingenuous about why he left UF
just like when left Utah to take the Florida job.
Just for fun, I went back to see what the columnists were writing when Meyer departed Utah. Amazingly, it's almost identical to what some of us have been saying for months about Meyer's penchant for not telling the truth.
Here's an excerpt from a column written by Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson after Meyer announced he was leaving Utah for Florida:
"The problem with Urban Meyer is, unless you know the real inside scoop, it's hard to tell when he's lying.
Maybe it's only when he's moving his lips.
2010 finals in person. Being the villain is fun.
I graduated in 1991, but was still living in A2 in '92. I convinced a friend to enter the student lottery for Final Four tix to Minneapolis, and when his name hit, I figured I'd go get a fake student ID to be able to pick up the tix on site.
Long story short, the student ID center was a little trickier than I expected, and while I eventually came up with a solution and picked up the tickets, my buddy got a call from the cops about the situation, and I told him to fess up and turn me in.
Enjoyed the time there immensely (aside from losing the final), rode a shuttle bus with Digger Phelps, and was in an elevator with Shaq, but had to go to court when I returned on "attempted false pretenses" charges. When the judge heard the story of why I wanted a fake student ID, he shook his head and dismissed the case.
No cool site or bar visit stories.
Living in the Columbus area, University of Michigan sticker in the back window of the Accord, lotsa maize and blue apparel worn during the previous two years in there, my fondness for the alma mater was a matter of record among neighbors, co-workers, strangers at malls/bars/restaurants.
Night before the tourney, going through the brackets, reviewing with my brother...he says "take Michigan all the way." Didn't want to, but he convinced me to do so.
Never was an angrier crowd of workplace Ohioans than when I collected my winnings...gross booty indeed.
Like I said, not the coolest bro story, but my story.
I was a freshman in 1988-89 and I was accustomed to Michigan underachieving in the NCAA tournament prior to that year. It was a great run and I remember when the final game was set, Michigan vs Seton Hall, I thought 'Where is Seton Hall?' I couldn't Wikipedia it back then. They were a tourney newbie back then I believe. Had no idea but a smart friend of mine was able to fill me in.
During the final game in the final few minutes, some idiot pulled the fire alarm in South Quad. My buddies and I locked our door thinking the RA would never stop by. But, she keyed the door and told us to go outside. In a panic, we went over to The Union and heard the final seconds of regulation on somebody's radio. I am sure the fine members of the Ann Arbor Fire Department were watching the game too and they didn't want to get stuck of some b.s. fire alarm at South Quad. There was a game to watch! So, they quickly gave the all clear and we all piled back into South Quad in time to catch Rumeal sink his two free throws. Then, it was on to South U. What a great night!
I was a senior in HS that year, but moved into South Quad that fall. One of my best friends who's a year older, told us that story when we had our first fire alarm, the first Friday of the fall.
Many more fire alarms, of course, came after, but none so bad as that one. Still, getting out of the dorm from the seventh floor could be a challenge depending on what you had to drink that night!
Being in Vegas for the Tournament is something everyone should experience at least once. It's a lot of fun.
Last year was memorable. Was in Tahoe for a bachelor party. Getting up hungover at 9am to watch Michigan beat Tenn by 30, while about two feet of snow covered Heavenly.
I sat next to Jared Sullingers dad at the big ten basketball semi. That guy is the nicest Buckeye ever.
I feel dirty
1) When the Final Four was in Detroit, I went to the open practices with a few buddies. We got there early and had some pretty awesome seats and view. We were sitting down and all of the sudden we look to our left and the guy sitting next to us looks exactly like Matt Stafford, and next to him was a guy in a suit. We had just read a few days earlier that Stafford was meeting with the Lions as this was a few weeks before the draft. I turn to my friend and said "that's fucking Matthew Stafford! You're sitting next to Stafford!!" He sat there for all four of the teams practicing. When he got up and walked away we noticed a Wayne State lanyard and we were sorely disappointed and felt like idiots.
2) Also, during those practices, UCONN spent what seemed like half their alotted time chucking half court shots. Jeff Adrien is the worst half-court shooter I have ever seen. Dude probably shot 50 of them and half of them completely missed the backboard. And not because they were short.
3) The men's national paraplegic team also had a practice that same day. One of the players just kept hitting the front of the rim. I unwittingly noted to my friend, "he's just not getting his legs into the shot." I got a couple nasty looks from the people around me, and rightfully so. I didn't even realize what I was saying when it came out of my mouth.
As for actual game memories, one of my best friends is a huge Syracuse fan and they were upset by Vermont one year in the first round. My buddy was heartstricken and I was watching the game with him. Every time he sees Vermont, the same words come out of his mouth - "fucking Tyler Coppenrath" and nothing else.
I remember the 89' championship game. It must have been past my bedtime, because I remember hiding behind the couch in order to watch overtime. I can still remember the last shot when Seton Hall threw up a fairly long shot at the buzzer but only hit the backboard.
Been to some regionals and the 09 championship game in Detroit. Nothing compared to flipping on the 92 Kentucky-Duke East Regional with nothing else going on a Saturday night and being transfixed for like an hour of unreal competition. Watching that Kentucky team of freshman Mashburn and loyal to the bone seniors throw the man to man full court press on a great Duke team mid-way through the second half and slowly chop them down like a great oak, was downright inspirational.
I had no allegience to either team, but I spontaneously wept for those Kentucky kids when Laettner hit that shot. I couldn't control it. That was their game.
I was screaming right before "Rick put a man on the inbounder for the love of God!!" I couldn't believe it when Hill was shuffling along with a clear view of his target up the court.
From Kentucky's shame to the brink of one of sport's all time great upsets in three seasons. One of the best coaching jobs in college hoops history regardless of that play.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVLU94XTL4A&feature=related Great ESPN documentary on the game.
Thanks for costing us the title, jackass.
I got sent on a business trip to Cincinatti in March of '92 for 3 weeks. I drove out to Cinci from DC with a friend of mine who had came to visit. I was pissed because I had to drive the day of the regional final - Michigan vs. Ohio State.
We were listening to the game on the radio, but as it was winding down it got so intense that we HAD to find a place to watch the end. We had just crossed the Ohio state line when we found some dive bar. We tried to be cool and just watch, but when Michigan scored to pull off the win we went crazy. The locals at the bar were like WTF are Michigan fans doing in this bar? We scooted out of there quickly and got back on the road.
Once I got to Cinci, lo and behold in the Final Four game the Fab Five faced . . . . Cincinnati. The town was buzzing about Cincinnati making the Final Four, which was a big surprise at the time.
I watched the game at a downtown Cincinnati bar, the only Michigan fan in a sea of red Cincinnati fans. I was there too long and got drunk and a little unruly. The local TV station came to the bar to film the scene and what they got was a lens full of me immitating Dicky V. when Michigan won and broke Cinci's heart, yelling "It's Awsome Baybeee!!!" Another bar I had to leave quickly.
I remained convinced to this day that we would have betaen Duke if I could have somehow wound up in Durham for the game.
It was a rumor on North Campus, but I and others there believed... There was a kid from Bursley, a.k.a. "Chicken-Man." As the rumor goes, this kid was having a meal at SQ and not being a Michigan sports afficianado, decided to intercede. Some said it was a birthday thing, others thought it was a carefully planned conspiracy to usurp those yummy hamburgers con melty-cheese from the SQ cafeteria. Attempts at a Warren Commission type inquiry were rebuffed, but I know it was you Chris...
...you broke my heart.
(dammit, now I want a Cannoli)
Take the cannoli