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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hartford 2010: Glowing Reviews

(see the first part of the weekend)

Fresh of the high of going to sleep a few benjamins richer, we awoke for another round of America East Specials. Our original plan was to get back to the arena by 11am to see the BU women play their semifinal game, however we could not get off our lazy butts in time... sorry ladies.

Let me say something: Of course I have nothing against women's basketball. I was quite the BU women's fan back in school. I don't even mind having the men's and women's tournament together, since I'm sure it saves everyone money. But not holding the men's semifinals until Sunday evening is insane. The combined format should preserve everything that was great about the men's tournament from years past.

Everyone in the conference in driving some major distance to get to the tournament. This year, half of our party couldn't wait for BU's 5pm game - which meant they drove 6 hours each way for 1 game. Taking away the Stony Brook Memorial Invitational Play-In Game on Friday night was bad enough... making the semifinals too late for many fans is unforgivable. Vermont fans had to drive 3.5 hours after their game ended at 10pm... good thing we don't have to worry about Maine ever making a semifinal!

America East: Please make this change for next year's tournament.

Back to this year's tournament. We had plenty of time to kill before our Sunday evening (I still can't believe that) game. There were brochures at the tournament's FanFest for something called Monster Mini-Golf that seemed interesting enough to waste a few hours on. Turns out it's an indoor arcade which is totally dark except for fluorescent things everywhere. It was kind of fun to play skee-ball and air hockey under black lights, but the real fun was on the putt-putt course. It actually looked really cool.

Finally, the time came to head back to watch BU - of course, not before more tailgating, more beer/Sparks, and more free Cabot cheese.

We were playing Stony Brook of course, the #1 seed that had beaten us soundly twice this season. That, combined with the fact that their cheering section was about 5x ours, meant we were going to have to be super loud. That worked for about a minute when the supposed "best player in the league" Muhammed El-Amin hit three straight 3-pointers to begin the game. The Terriers didn't lose hope though, as they quickly caught up, then ended the half on a ferocious 15-point run to end the half.

Play of the game: Towards the end of this run, the shot clock was running out and Corey had the ball near halfcourt. Instead of running toward the hoop, Corey just launched a 35-footer (no exaggeration) then found the hoop and the BU fans went apoplectic. That shot takes some large balls and was a huge momentum booster. The fans, the coaches, the bench and the players were pumped up to 11.

Halftime came and went, and then some of the air came out of everyone. Stony Brook immediately went on a 13-0 run, and we didn't score for over 5 minutes.
(Tangent: Dear BU Pep Band, can we stop the slow clap at the beginning of each half? Please? Nobody else joins in. And it gets real embarrassing/frustrating/annoying when it has to go on for 10 minutes including time-outs. Worse, it prevents anyone from starting any different cheers, specifically faster-paced ones that may be helpful in boosting energy in the fans and players, like D-FENSE. Can we maybe put a 2-minute time limit on it? Or at the very least end it after the first media time-out? PLEASE end this "tradition." Love, BU Hoops Blog.)
After we finally scored and the band mercifully stopped slow-clapping, the teams traded leads over the rest of the half. BU kept stalling though, and that's when Pat Chambers took matters into his own hands. He says he wasn't "trying" to get a Technical (wink, wink), but he got one anyway with about 6 mins left. The ensuing free throws left Stony Brook with a 53-48 lead. It fired everyone up though, and from then on it was BU making steals, getting rebounds and putbacks, making free throws and Corey with another big-time 3-pointer to take the lead.

BU won the game with defense. The "best player in the conference" disappeared down the stretch, and actually contributed 8 of SBU's 19 turnovers. And despite the non-stop trash talking and shoving by Tommy Brenton and Chris Martin, the Terriers kept their cool.

As the final seconds ticked down, the team started going crazy on the court and some of the fans came down to join. This group of seniors, which had never made it to the final game of the America East season, wasn't ready to be done yet.

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At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Majestic Mapp said...

Is that mini-golf place from "Happy Gilmore"? After missing a putt did you scream, "you're gonna die, clown" and then break its nose with a putter?

Great rundown. One more game...

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Tall-boy said...

HA! I can't believe I missed the obvious Happy Gilmore joke


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