My 1st Final Four

I am not a fan of San Antonio the city.    I’m usually there in late July and early August, the worst time to visit the city because it is so hot.

The city was nice and warm for the Final Four.  April is nice in S.A.   The Riverwalk thing is great for fans out of town.   The fans from UCLA, Kansas, Memphis, and Carolina enjoyed the town.

One of my fraternity brothers, an assistant coach at Winston Salem State, said he wanted to bring his family to the Alamo City for a vacation.  So, big props to the city for putting on a good show.

The Mecca

If you love college hoops, go to the Final Four.  43-thousand fans packed the Alamodome.   It was great to see four sets of fans in the building all hoping their team advanced to Monday Night.

All the bands played great.  It was neat to see the different fight songs and ways the crowds got into their teams.

Potty Mouth Mom

Joey Dorsey of Memphis is a fan favorite, but his mom cursed a lot during the game.  I sat three rows in front of her. 

I can understand the word damn here and there, but this lady was breaking out the S-word a bit too much.

Then, she was shouting about how Derrick Rose was a ball hog and he needed to pass to Joey more.

Maybe it’s just me, but Rose is the reason why Memphis was drilling UCLA and why they made the Final Four.

Former Tiger Penny Hardaway was there.   He was a great player in college.

My Heels

After watching Memphis roll on UCLA I got a great seat for the Carolina-Kansas game.    After watching KU go up 40-12 I knew it had happened again:  Carolina came to the Final Four in SA and forgot to shoot.  It happened in 1998.

I was bummed.  Really bad.   Bill Self coached a darn good game.

La Quinta Hotel

The NCAA didn’t have me on the hotel list so I had a choice.  Pay $400 for a hotel along the Riverwalk or take the $144 a night rate at a La Quinta more the nine miles from the Alamodome.

Since I came down on my own dime I took the LaQuinta, next to Burger King, not a Denny’s.   

Smart move, I was in a nice and quiet place.  No drunk fans were in the hotel.  The towels were hard and flimsy, but I had a good stay.

Monday Night

I had a front row seat for this won.  I talked to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News and she thought Memphis would win by ten points.  I thought the Tigers would win as well.

Over 43-thousand were in the building.  It was electric.

Rev. Jesee Jackson was at the game cheering for Memphis.

Dick Vitale of ESPN got the loudest ovation of the 2008 Basketball Hall of Famers at halftime.

Former Maverick Hubert Davis is a good dude.  He picked KU to win it all.  Bold because Hubert played at Carolina.  Tar Heel fans were mad at him, but he was right.    We spoke for before the game.

The Tigers were classy in defeat.  They choked away the national title.  I won’t go into all the blunders, but these kids won’t have a good night’s sleep for….years.

Memphis had a 9-point lead with 2:11.  Heck, they had a three point lead with ten seconds left in regulation.  And they couldn’t hit free throws to win.

“Being so close to the national title, to not have it, I feel bad for our city and our players, because they know we had it,” Memphis coach John Calipari said. “We collectively let it slip out of our hands.”

KU won in OT 75-68.

Give Bill Self credit.  He showed me he is a great coach in his wins over Carolina and Memphis.   The man came up with great game plans.

The celebration

The confetti came down and the crowd (about 30K of KU fans) went crazy.

The best moment was seeing Darnell Jackson run off the court and to the stands to hug his mom.  They both cried and it was a touching moment. 

The Riverwalk was jammed after the game.  So many KU fans made the trek to San Antone to watch.   Good for them.  20 years after Danny Manning & KU won it all….they did it again.

Manning is now an assistant on the staff.

All and all, I loved the Final Four.   If you ever get the chance to go.  Go!

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