The great thing about New York (and the worse thing about New York) is the shear magnitude of the humanity there. I didn't leave Manhattan except to fly in and out of that bus barn they call LaGuardia, and I saw so many people of renown. I caught up with O'Shea for a pizza in the village and chat about USC football. I saw the UK basketball team in Times Square one night (more on seeing them in person at Madison Square Garden). I saw James Gandolfini leaving a restaurant one night late. I saw some Heisman trophy candidates and shared a special moment with one of them. I am not, despite what you have heard, a better person just from having been around him.
The Madison Square Garden experience was awesome. We had great tickets and saw a good basketball game between Georgia and St. Johns. The Dawgs are growing. Despite shooting 36%, they were in a position to put a move on the Johnnies with about 2 minutes left by pulling within 7 after being down by as many as 15. It was not meant to be, as the Dawgs' shooting woes did them in. Seriously, this Georgia team is well coached enough to scare some people if they put it all together for a whole game.
The Kentucky/UConn game, though was an Elite 8 caliber game. John Wall was a stud for the Wildcats (25 points, including 12 of the last 15 for the Cats) in a come from behind thriller. Kemba Walker for the Huskies played great as well in easily the best live basketball game I have seen in a few years. Both of those teams will make a deep run into March.
I did snap a few pictures to show the great seats we had
Calipari teaching me a few "coaching" words.
This was actually taken from my seat during game play. If you watch some of the highlights from the game, you can actually see us (well, you have to know what I was wearing and that I am balding, but the wife found me pretty easily). By far the best tickets I have had for a sporting event of this caliber.
One final thing. Being a football school, we have a great deal of passion for the Bulldog football program. There were a small handful of Dawg fans there and it was great to see them, but I really would like to see us get there for the basketball program. Say what you want about Kentucky fans, they love their basketball and get fired up about it. The atmosphere in MSG was spectacular because of it.
UK outdrew UConn to this game. UConn is an hour train ride from NYC and their fan base is New York City. UK outdrew them. I can tell you that the vast majority of the Kentucky fans in the building were from Kentucky and had made the trip to see this game, something easily discernible by the accents coming from the fans in blue. That is amazing to me, and I am jealous of that.
You can take the boys out of Kentucky....
We are still a couple of strong seasons away from being near UConn and Kentucky fan level in supporting their basketball teams, but I think we have the coach to put us in position to do so. Well, maybe not UConn fan support. They are sore losers and are only able to dish out profanity, not take a simple come back like "well, we whipped your ass" or "look at the scoreboard" or "nice virgo medallion" or "your underage girlfriend is puking on the side walk." Seriously, some people have no class.