Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 17, 2011: Men's Basketball vs. Villanova

What: Men's Basketball vs. Villanova

When: Monday, January 17, 2011, 3:30 PM

Where: Harry A. Gampel Pavillion

Result: Win, 61-59

Summary: As a write this, I am snowed into my dorm and all classes before noon are canceled. Looking at the forecast, it is possible that afternoon classes were be canceled too. If they aren't, I'm so not looking forward to walking to the Physics Building from East, and who knows how delayed the buses will be?

But anyway, on to the game. Let me start this off by saying that on Sunday afternoon around 3:30 PM (a full 24 hours before the game), I was walking by Gampel on my way to the Co-op to pick up my books, and people were already lined up in tents outside the arena. Keep in mind, the forecast predicted a low of 3 degrees for that night, with a windchill of about 10 below. When I arrived at Gampel about 40 minutes before doors opened, the line already stretched somewhat far. In fact, there were so many people in front of me that I wound up in the upper part of the student section. I never sat there before.

But all in all, this was a great game. The crowd was loud the entire contest, louder than I'd ever heard them before. We started on an 8-0 run, before Nova started to play well. The first half was a poor shooting affair, and we lead just 24-22 at halftime.

But in the second half, both offenses picked up. It was 59-54 with under a minute left when Nova hit a three-pointer. Kemba Walker then bricked two free throws, before we fouled Derek Fisher who nailed both of his to tie the game. But Kemba Walker hit a jump shot with 2.5 seconds left, sending the crowd into a frenzy and giving us the lead for good.

One amusing moment occurred during the second half. Villanova was fouled shooting what was called a long two. However, the refs needed to look at the monitor to determine if it was in fact a two-pointer or if he was beyond the arc. At this point, the Student Section started yelling "TWOOOOO" and the Visiting Section yelled "THREEEEE". As the person behind me put it, "I feel like we're on The Price is Right".

For the past nine years, I had gone to New York Knicks matinees on Martin Luther King Day. Now that I'm in college, that's not practical because the semester starts the next day (or perhaps not, in case of snow.) But this was pretty good too, and was probably more exciting than any of the Knicks games I was at. And more raucous, and an overall better atmosphere, mainly because there aren't drunks spewing profanity every ten seconds. The whole crowd chanting "F*** THE REFS" after a bad call is one thing. But one crazy drunk guy shouting "F*** YOU" every ten seconds is totally different, and obnoxious.

So long for now, and I'll be back after Ice Hockey Friday night.

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