The Tourney Experience - Part I
The America East Tournament is not just another tournament, it's an experience. To fully understand what it's all about, you really need to experience for yourself, but I'm going to try to give you a taste of what it's like.
Too late, you say? After the tragic (and somewhat traditional) ending to the Terriers season, I didn't have the strength to write about it. It was too depressing. Now, 6 1/2 months later, I've finally come to grips with what happened, and I feel comfortable writing about it. So for anyone who cares, here are my fuzzy memories from the tournament:
We arrived, as far as I can remember, in time for the two Friday night games, featuring the four weakest teams in our conference. Who were they, you ask? Well I ask you, who cares? It's not just that I don't remember, it's that the four teams hardly factored into the rest of the tournament, so who the hell cares?
We found our seats pretty quickly. It's not that hard when they're the absolute top row and as far into the corner as you can get. We didn't let that drag us down, though, since the arena was half full.
I honestly cannot remember any highlights from either of the two games, but anyone who was there that night will distinctly remember the UMBC pep band being truly amazing. Everyone loved them, especially the crazy tuba (?) player with the long hair.
After the game we hit up Hooters (I feel this is turning into a tradition if the tourney goes back to Binghamton any time soon). We were chatting it up with a Vermont fan who was there by himself, but after a few minutes of boredom we paid our bill and got the hell away from him before his backwoods lifestyle had a chance to rub off on us city boys.
It took us a while to find a liquor store, but we got our traditional bottle of Southern Comfort and swung by a supermarket for a 30-rack of Genessee for 8 bucks. Simple amazing. We rushed to "downtown" Binghamton so we could check in to our "hotel" before check-in hours ended. In other words, we made sure that we got into the parking garage before it closed.
We hit up a bar or two, then crashed for the night in the car. Even the sleeping bags weren't enough to keep us from freezing our asses off. That didn't bother us though, because the next day was what the entire weekend was really all about: four straight games of mediocre college basketball.
Check back for Part II of my extremely late recap of the Tourney Experience.