Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oral Roberts Basketball: A Religious Experience

March 6th (5th day of the trip) - Chillin' in Tulsa, Oklahoma. First chance to really soak in the monolithic John Q. Hammons Arena. A high school gym, which is unreal. Among the more amazing attributes was a team shop that rivals many professional teams' stores. A local that was in charge of parking (Free! Yes!) told Pun City that the Union school district has extraordinarily high property taxes. An apartment in another area of Tulsa usually goes for about $450 a month, and within Union's district, the same type would go for $690.

A very nice facility for a college, easily the best facility this blog has ever seen at the high school level. Not surprising that it was hosting a college tournament after having seen it live. But the awesome part, as mentioned before, was that high school prices still ruled the day.

This blog visited the Oral Roberts campus in the morning, and it was a very cool campus. Somewhat hard to miss with the giant statue of praying hands at its entrance. Was able to nose around their basketball arena also, though they were cleaning up from a church service the day before. In spite of this, this blog was still able to grab the basketball rim (second Mid-Con school's rim, after Valparaiso, that Pun City has been able to grab). The ORU staff was extremely friendly, as one might expect from a Christian school. While the weather at the time was nice, because of the lack of shade on campus, this blog assumes that the Oklahoma heat would be pretty miserable in the summer.

This blog is not a fan of women's basketball in the least, but it had a good portion of the day to kill in Tulsa, and there was a couple semifinal games that this blog already had tickets for (package deal with the men's tickets). So, after a quick lunch at Sonic, Pun City was headed to a couple women's games.

The first of these was Western Illinois vs. Valparaiso. Western Illinois is somewhat unusual because their men's and women's teams have different names, but the same mascot. The women are known as the Westerwinds, and the men are called the Leathernecks. The mascot is a bulldog-looking dog that walks around with a snarl on its face, while simultaneously looking vaguely like a human boxer.

Some Game notes:

-About as empty as you'd expect for a women's basketball game at noon on a Monday. Maybe 100 in attendance, and that's being generous.

-NCAA's official mascot, JJ Jumper, was in the house, and this blog got a set of beads with his logo on them from Sir Jumper. Also got to see the most dancin'-est mascot in sports mash the bass boost on his jam box while crushing some 10-year-olds in musical chairs.

-The entire Valparaiso men's team was at the game cheering for their women's team, this site was able to get autographs from head coach Homer Drew and assistant (and March Madness legend) Bryce Drew. Homer was as nice as he is usually portrayed in the media, and Bryce was pretty cool too, taking time to sign while on his cell phone.

-This blog caught a t-shirt and an ice cream sandwich from the Valparaiso cheerleaders.

-WIU's band played Beyonce's "Crazy In Love," that was about the only unique song for either band.

Second game was Oakland University vs. IUPUI, and the 7th-seeded OU made it to the final.

-Entire Oakland Men's team was there despite being eliminated the evening before. Possibly because men's head coach Greg Kampe was also the interim Athletic Director.

-IUPUI's band brought a punching bag in the shape of a referee to the game, and would punch it occasionally as deemed necessary.

-They also played "She's Got It" and "Pretty Fly For A White Guy."

After those games, headed a couple blocks away to Westland Hills Mall, which is an alright mall, despite being slightly overpriced. The night session was the 2 men's semifinal games, Valparaiso vs. Oral Roberts and Chicago State vs. IUPUI.

-The second Marquette transfer of the trip, Ron Howard, started what would be his last collegiate game for Valparaiso.

-"Home" crowd for Oral Roberts was pretty raucous.

-Buzzer problems persisted.

-Chicago State pulled off its second upset of the tournament to get into the final.

Then another night of watching WCC basketball at the hotel before both the men's and women's finals the next day.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you were able to appease your Oral fixation.

- Mookie

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you recognize any sites (U62 broadcast studio, steps of "city hall", etc) from UHF? Most of the movie was filmed in Tulsa.

http://tulsatvmemories.com/uhf.html

Dank

8:04 AM  
Blogger Cooler Brian said...

1. Hiyo!!

2. I was not previously aware that UHF was filmed there. I did not notice any of those national landmarks, unfortunately. (From the website it would appear that I didn't even come close to very many of those, maybe the closest was a couple miles from Raul's apartment).

9:55 PM  
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