|Point Guard for the Orange|
I certainly did just that with a trip down to San Jose for the early rounds of March Madness. The HP Pavilion was hosting teams from the Midwest and East regions (I know that sounds weird). Those in attendance for the first session were treated to match-ups in the Midwest region, where the Billikens of St. Louis defeated New Mexico State. The second game of the day had a Pac 12 flavor with the Oregon Ducks beating Oklahoma State in a deadly 12 vs. 5. The Ducks might just be the best 12 seed in the field. I initially thought their seed was justified. However, after their win I am persuaded to think they may have deserved a higher seed. St. Louis and Oregon will meet on Saturday in the round of 32. The Billikens are a great mid-major team, with gobs of potential. That being said, GO DUCKS! My brethren from Eugene successfully converted me in college to adopt the U of O.
The second session kicked off with a 'neutral' site game for the Cal Bears as they faced the Running Rebels of UNLV. I expected the Rebels to showcase the up-and-coming surge the Mountain West had been showcasing. This game had lots of thrills, and of course a rowdy atmosphere due to the dearth of Golden Bear fans in attendance. The Bears came away with the win in what was a sloppy final two minutes of the game. There were far too many rushed possessions with poor shot selection and a couple of inexcusable turnovers. The most frustrating part, and perhaps most exciting, was the amount of free throws that were missed down the stretch. Cal could've put them away and the Aggies could have actually pulled within one and/or tied had they hit more from the charity stripe. All in all it was a lively atmosphere and the Cal crowd went home happy.
|75 years of Madness|
It was a great day of college hoops and it should be noted that the HP Pavilion is a great site to watch a basketball game. It was probably one of the better arenas I have been privileged enough to experience. Also, the scalpers in San Jose are the best I have ever encountered. Not only are they easy going and organized, they're willing to hear you out and make a great offer. We scored two lower level tickets, twenty rows off the floor for half price. Thanks to the guys who hooked us up. Nothing better than celebrating 75 years of college madness in sunny California. If you're able to explore the city of San Jose, check out Barefoot Coffee and the Black Cat Collective Vintage Emporium. Both local establishments made me want their creativity and initiative to rub off in the north bay.