wine by the color

Friday, March 13, 2009













We were pretty sure it was going to be a good game.

And we were about 10 seconds and 20 dollars from missing it...

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As usual, KJ and I waited until the last minute to make plans for our annual Big East tourney day. Last weekend, I actually told the Captain we might skip it this year.

But at the last minute, KJ got tickets for yesterday afternoon's games from a client, so in we went. Louisville pretty much blew out Providence in the day's first game, prompting me to say to KJ, "I just hope we get to see a close game today."

Which is exactly what we got in the next tilt, when Villanova hit a buzzer beater to top Marquette by one.

As soon as that game ended, we dashed over to Stout, hoping to beat the crowd we knew was coming. We were so efficient we scored seats at the bar, where we parked for the next two hours. Upon our departure, we decided we would make a half-hearted attempt to score tickets for the evening session, knowing that the UConn-Syracuse game had potential to be a good one. We determined the price we were willing to pay and walked across Seventh Ave.

The second our feet hit the sidewalk, we encountered a nattily attired businessman who quietly mentioned he had two tickets. KJ opened the bidding, which he quickly declined. He countered, and she declined. We conferred for about 10 seconds, ready to walk away. But he came back to us with a lower price "as long as we bought him two beers."

So in we went...

The tickets were in the last row, but at mid-court so the seats weren't too bad. But we quickly made our way down to our usual bar to watch WVU top Pitt. Our friends from Pitt, bitter about the loss, were leaving the arena so we took their tickets so we could sit in their seats for the day's final game. But we realized our seats from the afternoon had been filled by Pitt fans who also left, so we wound up back in our original seats in the lower section. The friends we had made in the afternoon seemed happy about our return, which was good, given that we'd be spending the next three hours and 26 minutes with them...

The game was tight throughout and overtime always seemed like a possibility. But no one could have imagined we would be sitting there for SIX overtimes. As someone said on ESPN this morning: "It was the game you didn't want to see end, but were afraid never would."

When Syracuse hit the three as time expired in regulation, everyone in the building knew it was unlikely the shot was good. But because the Garden would not show the replay while the officials were conferring, no one knew for sure. The Professor, watching at home, sent me a text that read: "No good."

And indeed it was not and off to OT we went...

and went...

and went...

and went...

It was amazing. The energy in the arena, which remained quite full, was palpable. It's one thing to witness sports history. It's another to know it's happening as you're watching it. At one point, KJ nudged me, pointed upward and said: "You don't see that everyday." The scoreboard read 100-100. Eventually, the number under Period read 8. Usually you get 2. Maybe 3 if you're lucky...

As the sixth overtime started, we began to discuss the train situation. Any Jerseyan who visits NYC on a regular basis (and enjoys the nightlife) knows the last train out departs at 1:41 a.m. The sixth overtime started at 1:07 a.m. and we figured a seventh overtime, should there be one, would make the 1:41 train unlikely. But there was no way we were leaving, so contigency plans were discussed.

But ultimately unnecessary. Neither team had any legs left and UConn completely lost the ability to shoot from the outside. With their big men fouled out and no inside game as a result, Syracuse pulled away and finally the second-longest game in NCAA history ended at 1:22 a.m.

We safely made the 1:41 train, where I ran into a former co-worker. I arrived home at 3:15 a.m. and am exhausted today. But it was completely worth it...

2 Comments:

  • At 3/13/2009 9:11 PM, Blogger the joker said…

    As we walked into MSG for the 3rd game of the tournament, I told Local Shill, "Man, I hope this game goes 6 overtimes."

    Who am I kidding? I was just hoping Rutgers kept it within 20.

     
  • At 3/14/2009 10:54 AM, Blogger jersey girl said…

    Baby steps, kid. Baby steps. :)

     

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