Not only was yesterday St. Patrick's Day, but it was also the opening round of the NCAA tournament across the country. One of the host cities was Providence. I was lucky enough to have a friend who got tickets. I was able to go with him and six other friends and watch college basketball literally all day. ( I sat on the aisle...veteran move) Four games from noon til midnight. How it worked in case you were wondering is the four games are split up into two sessions of two games. After the first two games theres like a 2 hour break for people to leave and do whatever they want. Despite being drained at the end of the day it was probably one of the most fun experiences of my life and I'll try to recap it for you here with my amazing way with words and pics/videos via my snapchat (follow me)
I was so excited to have an actual ticket and not a printed out one. They just aren't the same. I hate how printing out tickets is becoming the norm. I LOVE ticket stubs and have tried to collect all the ones from every game, concert, comedy show or movie I go to. I go into the dunk first alone to test security as is it is St. Patty's day and the NCAA doesn't allow alcohol to be served during games. Since I can't drink on my diet I went in first while everybody stayed outside. I'll let you connect the dots. First thing I do as soon as I get in is buy a Wichita St shirt. They're my adopted team during the tourney since URI may never dance for the rest of my life. If you read my last blog you know I LOVE Ron Baker. (I'll get more into him soon)
(all my tickets from over the years)
First game of the day was from the from West region #13 UNC Wilmington against #4 Duke, the defending national champions. Like any red blooded American I hate Duke. Obviously Duke is one of the greatest programs in college basketball but they are historically full of punky, entitled white boy bitches. (Laettner, Redick, Greyson Allen just to name a few ) so obviously I was pulling for the underdog UNC Wilmington.
I had Duke winning in my bracket but losing in the next round anyways so I was fine with them getting upset. Everybody I was with on the other hand who had Duke -10.5 was not. Told them that line was too big but nobody ever listens to ole dozo. In the first half UNC-W (idk if that's they're legit nickname but it works) came out hot and actually lead at the half 43-40. It was wicked cool to be in the crowd. I'd say 70% of the Dunk was rooting against Duke. I did see a lot of Duke shirts when I was there. They travel well and have fans nationwide. But still when UNC-W was playing well whether it was a key stop or hitting a big shot the dunk was rocking it was awesome. That's what March Madness is all about.
After the break the clock struck midnight for UNC-W as Duke began to take over and start actually playing like they were the better team (which they clearly were) they'd get the lead to double digits but UNC-W would keep bouncing back to stay within shouting distance of Duke.
Marshall Plumlee took over in the second half dropping 19 points (23 for the game) before fouling out. UNC-W fought hard but were just over matched, their center fouled out too and they had nobody who could come close to stopping Plumlee. Duke won 93-85.
After the Duke-UNC Wilmington game ended there was about a half hour break before the next game started. I'm not just saying this because I low-key hate PC I'm saying it because it is a fact....The Dunkin Donuts Center is a dump. It felt way too small for the amount of people inside. The bathrooms only have 4 urinals and 1 poop stall so the lines were going all the way to Warwick.
I couldn't eat anything there but the food didn't look that good. I was just crushing water. $4.50 for a regular bottle $7 for a big one. I spent about 30 bucks just on water. I understand that shit is gonna be more expensive at a game and probably even more for the tourney but a bottle of water costing the same as a hot dog is insane to me. I tried to make my shakes for my diet there and that just became a mess trying to fit a bunch of powder into a water bottle so I went in line and asked for a cup. They said they'd have to charge me $4.50 for a cup. That is bananas. I straight up said that's fucking stupid (sorry) and left.
During the break between games I searched for an open power outlet so I could charge my phone because I still have an iPhone 5 (like a poor) and it's battery lasts about 90 minutes. The first outlet I could find was right next to dough boy stand. Stood there like 5 times though out the day to charge my phone and didn't even think for a second about buying a dough boy which at $4 was a better deal than a bottle of water. Didn't crack and remained #dozostrong.
After getting like 10% of a charge since the old outlets at the dunk stink I went back to my seat to watch the second game which was also from the West region #12 Yale vs. #5 Baylor. Again I told everybody Yale was hot and was going to pull off the upset and to bet them but nobody listened. Kills me that I'm retired right now from gambling but that's what happens when the Patriots lose to the Broncos and you lose your entire net worth on the game.
Yale v. Baylor was hands down the best game of the four we went to. Yale pulled off the upset 79-75. Their first ever tournament win. 2016 was also their first appearance in the big dance since 1962. I was happy for them because I always root for the Ivy League school in the tourney.
There was a ton of Yale fans in the house, which makes sense it's not that crazy of a trip to Providence from where Yale is in Connecticut. Again much like the first game, I'd say the majority of the building was rooting for the underdog.
Yale has a lot of controversy surrounding them right now that has been very questionable to say the least. Recently their captain and starting guard Jack Montague, was kicked out of school for an alleged sexual-assault despite there being no real evidence. I hate the mob mentality that we have as country when those words are thrown around because it is such a serious accusation that even if you are proven not guilty of will stick with you for life. Enough with that heavy shit and I'm gonna get back into the game.
Yale guard #11 Makai Mason played out of his mind scoring 31 points, and shot a perfect 11/11 from the line. Baylor forward Taurean Prince played a great game as well dropping 28 and hit 4 3 pointers. None bigger than his last one that brought Baylor within one in the final minute.
Yale lead by 5 at half 39-34 but Baylor would not go away without a fight. In the second half Yale had an 11 point lead and I really was starting think it was over but Prince took over. In the final minute Baylor got within 1. I honestly thought they'd end up stealing the game back and would find a way to win. Yale was a free throw line late, hit the first and missed the second to go up by 2 so Baylor actually had a chance to win with the last shot. When they came down court whoever had the ball for Baylor (kind of hard to from where I was) slipped and turned it over, Baylor quickly fouled but Yale hit both to go up 4 so the game was over.
So that was the first session of my day at the tourney.....Really wanted to get the entire day in one blog but I need to go to work. As much as I love blogging it doesn't pay the bills (yet) so I gotta go...Didn't proofread no time it's 3:58 right now and I should have left my house 10 minutes ago. Oh well. Hope you enjoyed and I'll talk more about Miami v. Buffalo and Wichita St. v. Arizona soon!