Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Less Than Priceless 

Parking in ASU's massive Lot 49 - Cost: $5

Seat in the lower bowl of Wells Fargo Arena behind UNC's bench - Cost: $20

Watching your alma mater play horribly and get thumped in their shot at the Final Four - Cost: uh....

First, all credit due to Baylor's women's basketball team. They played a great game -- their game -- and definitely earned their trip to Indy for the Women's Final Four.

But it makes it no less painful for a UNC alum such as myself to watch the Tar Heels play miserably. A talented team, the Tar Heels oddly played part of the game as if they were from the Stone Age ("What is this orange thing in my hand? Ah -- it is fire. I must let it glance off my hands to prevent burning!") Their star player, Ivory Latta, couldn't scoot up and down the court nearly as well as she normally could. And Latta, like every Tar Heel, could not only not make the tightly contested shots, she wasn't making shots she would normally make with her eyes closed.

Sitting behind the bench, you could read the frustration on the Tar Heels' faces. Why were things going so badly? Why today of all days? It happens, of course. But it was no fun.

Other random notes from the game:

-- With ASU's loss to the Tar Heels Saturday night, Wells Fargo Arena was mostly empty, with an attendance of less than 4,000. It was an odd atmosphere, with the Bear fans definitely louder (their team made it easier, that's for sure). Kinda like what I would imagine a neutral site bowl game would be. For Division I-AA schools.

-- Ugh. The officiating. Wildly inconsistent on both sides. There would be instances where the Tar Heels mugged Baylor's front line with no calls, then get tagged with the touchiest of touch fouls. Having done some intramural officiating (basketball and otherwise) in college, I certainly understand the difficulties, but that was particularly off to me.

-- In the decade-plus since graduating from college, apparently pep bands have found no new tunes to add to their repertoire. Well, the Bears' pep band played a Dave Mathews Band tune. And I guess I heard one band play "Stacy's Mom" at last year's Men's Regional Finals at AWA. But, still. Live in the now.

-- Most amusing moment in the entire evening for me, who's spent many a year in Texas. Realizing that Baylor had brought a dance squad in addition to their cheer squad. This, from a school famous for not looking favorably on dancing. Of course, their dance squad was much more demurely dressed than the Laker Girls and their female cheerleaders showed no midriff (as opposed to the Tar Heel cheerleaders), but I was amused nonetheless.

At least your alma mater didn't choke away a 15-point lead with 4 minutes to play in the Elite-8. Sigh. Oh well, the sudden and demoralizing end of basketball season now means I can focus on baseball. But its good to know I am not the only D-back blogger that likes college hoops!
My college bb fandom has declined precipitously since leaving college and being in the college basketball hothouse of the state of North Carolina.

Sympathies on the UA loss. At least it was to the team who probably deserves to win the national championship. I know, it's of little consolation, but at least it's something.
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