Makes You Want To Heave
March 5th, (Fourth day of the trip) - Plan is to go the MVC title game (beginning at 1:00 PM), then sprint to Tulsa, OK to hopefully catch the 8:00 men's quarterfinal for the Mid-Continent Conference. It's a 6-hour drive, so this blog was really just hoping to make it by halftime.
In St. Louis, a cool part of the Bradley vs. Southern Illinois game was that it would be broadcast on CBS. It was the first game (other than NCAA games) broadcast nationally for the MVC in over 15 years. Getting in to St. Louis was a breeze as usual, punctuated by having made it out unscathed the night before. A bummer the night before was the UNC-Duke game, which was a UNC win and not very close.
Had eaten at Jack-In-The-Box before the game, that's a good spot, and a review will be coming in the near future.
Anyway, headed to the MVC title game, and there were a surprisingly large number of Bradley fans. While the stadium was still 75% Southern Illinois fans, the 25% Bradley contingent was concentrated in this blog's immediate vicinity. This was a slight bummer because this blog was sporting its SIU jersey. This wasn't a huge problem, especially when Pun City found an empty second-row seat that was out of most BU fans' range.
The Savvis Center had only 13,969 fans, so over 4,000 less than the semi-final games the day before. This is probably about right, since there were 2 teams remaining as opposed to 4 the day before. Additionally, there was a sizeable downpour that may have kept some fans away.
A contest this blog had entered, the Toyota Half-Court Heave, was underwhelming. As is often the case with these contests, a very inept woman who had clearly not even seen a basketball in the last 5 years was selected as the contestant. As expected, the absurd two-hander landed at about the free throw line. This site is sorry, but you have no business shooting a half-courter with both hands if you aren't strong enough to get it to the rim. There's also no excuse for not knowing your half-court shooting capabilities ahead of time. If she would have gone with a one-handed baseball throw and still come up short, this blog could have only faulted her for entering the contest in the first place. (It should go without saying, but don't enter a half-court shot contest if you cannot physically propel a basketball the requisite length). This blog can understand shots that are off line or long, but missing short is inexcuseable.
Some notes from the MVC game:
-Early on in the game, this blog was able to catch a different Army National Guard t-shirt from a giant inflatable National Guardsman, so that was a cool bonus.
-MVC fans showed their appreciation with a standing ovation for Dick Enberg and Clark Kellogg, CBS's broadcast team.
-Total tournament attendance of 63,739 set an all-time record for the MVC tournament.
-This was the Kristi Yamaoka game, lost in the shuffle was that Bradley went on a 6-0 run coming out of the delay, pulling within 6 of the Salukis.
-The Braves then fell apart and were not close again.
-Bradley fans often chant "BU! BU!" when in large groups. Saluki fans responded with "PU! PU!"
After the game, this blog headed toward Tulsa for the Mid-Con game. Would Pun City see any of the game? Would this blog successfully navigate out of St. Louis in a rainstorm? Would this site go off the beaten path and end up on a one-lane road in the process? All this and more coming up Tuesday!