Sunday, January 29, 2012

Game 2-7-75: Men's Basketball vs. Notre Dame

What: Men's Basketball vs. Notre Dame
Why in the world would we give
away red UConn shirts? And why
would we wear "platinum" and white
jerseys? And do them on the same
day? Oy vey.
When: Sunday, January 29, 2012, 12:00 PM
Where: XL Center
Result: Loss 50-48

Well, the first story was the uniforms. Those hideous contraptions Nike got nine of their favorite schools to wear. Well, they're terrible. Gray (pardon me, Nike says "platinum") and white are hardly befitting of the American Flag Blue and white we love. That's why in the InstantDaily a few days ago, I proposed changing our fight song to conform with the new color scheme. Alas, "Connecticut UConn Husky / Vict'ry again for the white and gray / So Go Go Go / Connecticut, Hip Hooray!" did not become a hit.

Oh, and then they left red shirts on all the student seats. Why red? The only red we wore was our shoes. It's all stupid. And some students were taking 10 or more shirts off of other seats. That's wrong. You get one, I get one, everyone gets wrong. Don't do that. The people next to me were very upset they didn't get shirts. Be nice.

As for the game itself, frankly, it was pitiful. We couldn't make baskets, we couldn't box out, and we were lucky to only lose by two. We missed a ton of chances to come back, including right at the end, and couldn't do it. Plus, the refs made several questionable calls. Most of them were closer than the crowd thought, but they shouldn't all be going one way. At least Ryan Boatright came back. But he didn't do much.

So now it's been three state losses. We need to do better. We could be in the NIT if this continues. With Boatright back, maybe we'll be better. But it only gets harder from here. At Georgetown, a home game vs. Seton Hall that we need to win, and then at Louisville and Syracuse. A Wednesday night game vs. DePaul at Gampel should be easy, and if we lose that, we're done. But then it's Marquette in Hartford, at Villanova, and College Gameday against Syracuse. We wrap up in Providence (who gives us trouble) before hosting Pitt. If we go .500, we're 9-9 in conference, and 19-11 overall. We probably will need to do better than that. Let's hope so.

Between the ugly uniforms, the ugly play, and the ugly reffing, this was terrible to watch. Yet we almost won. Funny how that stuff works, isn't it? Let's hope we do better next time.

Game 2-6-74: Women's Basketball vs. South Florida

What: Women's Basketball vs. South Florida
When: Saturday, January 28, 2012, 1:00 PM
Where: XL Center
Result: Win 77-62

Well, this was certainly below our standards. We won by 15, but seriously, it should have been a lot bigger. For starters, the student section was practically empty. It probably had 100 people, if that. Not a very good showing. Geno would be ashamed of us. And he probably is.

Anyway, back to the game. At halftime, genuine panic filled the XL Center. The Huskies were "only" up by three. And the close game continued throughout much of the second half. Would the Huskies lose at home to a subpar team? Could it possibly happen? No. It couldn't. We managed to pull away.  A few baskets, a Bulls timeout, and a few more baskets, and this one might as well have been over. Tiffany Hayes and Stefanie Dolson were absolutely dominant, combining for almost 60 points. But the rest of the team really struggled. We need more support over the next few weeks with a tough schedule coming up.

On a personal note, I have now seen all but four Big East teams in men's or women's basketball. Rutgers and Seton Hall are two of them, though I will see them both on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights are the only Big East team I haven't seen in any UConn contest. West Virginia will have to wait until next year if they are still in the conference. As for St. John's, I'll see them on Saturday the 18th when their women come to Gampel. So here we go.

But really guys, do better than this. Students, come to games. Lady players, play better. We need to win.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekly Schedule from January 30 - February 12

Next week's kind of slow, so here's the schedule for the next two weeks, beginning on Monday, January 30 and going through Sunday, February 12. A write-up on today's game should be coming tonight or tomorrow, and there's the Notre Dame men's game tomorrow.


(Y) = Will Attend
(P) = Probably Attending
(M) = Might Attend
(D) = Doubtful to Attend
(O) = Other, see notes

Saturday, February 4:
It's a Jersey Barrier of basketball games
next Saturday, when the men face
Seton Hall at noon, and the women face
Rutgers at 7:00. 

12:00 PM: Men's Basketball vs. Seton Hall (Y)
7:00 PM: Women's Basketball vs. Rutgers (Y)

Sunday, February 5:

12:00 PM: Men's and Women's Swimming vs. Dartmouth (M)
2:00 PM: Women's Ice Hockey vs. New Hampshire (M)

Tuesday, February 7:

7:05 PM: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Army (O)
I have class then. Should the class be canceled for whatever reason, I will be at the hockey game.

Friday, February 10:

7:05 PM: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Sacred Heart (Y)
UConn hockey will
face in-state rival Sacred
Heart in a rematch of
last year's outdoor game.

Saturday, February 11:

1:00 PM: Women's Ice Hockey vs. Boston College (D)
This is the same time as the men's basketball game vs. Syracuse.
4:00 PM: Women's Basketball vs. Georgetown (Y)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Game 2-5-73: Women's Ice Hockey vs. Boston College

What: Women's Ice Hockey vs. Boston College
When: Sunday, January 22, 2:00 PM
Where: Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum
Result: Loss, 3-1

We're a struggling and rebuilding team at the bottom of Hockey East. Boston College is the #4 team in the country. Blowout? Not quite. We held the Eagles to a single goal in the first period, but trailed 1-0. Then, a lot of the crowd cleared out to go home and watch the Patriots game. But those who stayed saw Jocelyn Slattery net a shorthanded goal with 10:19 left in the second period to tie the game at 1-1. And it looked like we might be able to pull off the upset.

But our hopes were short-lived. BC got a power-play goal less than two minutes later to go up 2-1 and quickly added another. And that was that. A 3-1 win for the Eagles. Two years removed from our "dream season", we may not even make the Hockey East Tournament.

Now, this has been a tough week for Huskies athletics. I've been at five games this week, and we're 1-4. And the four losses have all come in a row. And before now, I'd never seen the Huskies lose more than two in a row. And oh yeah - men's basketball lost to Tennessee. I wasn't in Knoxville for that, but I saw it on CBS. Disappointing.

Let's hope the Huskies can turn it around or there will be dark days ahead.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Game 2-4-72: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Robert Morris

Well, this was one ugly game, to say the least.  It started with the public address announcer referring to the visitors as the "Robert Morris Colonels" - and pronouncing "Colonels" as it is spelled. Strike one. . Attendance was paltry compared to the packed student crowd we had last night. Strike two. And there was a lot of nasty stuff going on on the ice as well. . Jordan Sims received a game misconduct in the first period. Strike three against the Huskies, perhaps. That didn't end it though. Marcello Ranallo scored a goal in the second period to put us up 1-0. After the pitiful outing on Friday, it looked like we might win one here. Not so fast.

Robert Morris scored a goal in the second and a goal in the third and went up 2-1. They would win by that score. But they did get one of their players tossed for unsportsmanlike conduct. The refs were calling a lot of penalties, and it was just one nasty game.

Anyway, the Huskies have been playing pretty poorly since I've been here. Three straight UConn games I've attended have ended in losses. That's never happened to me before. I don't think that's going to change this afternoon with our women's ice hockey game vs. Boston College. But it would be nice if it did.

Anyway, that's all for now. Go Huskies!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Game 2-3-71: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Robert Morris

What: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Robert Morris
When: Friday, January 20th, 7:05 PM
Where: Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum
Result: Loss, 4-3

Well, I must admit I'm a bit embarrassed by this one. We were down 4-1 a few minutes into the third period, and thinking we had no chance, I left. Well, we came storming back and made it 4-3. If we won, I'd be even more embarrassed, but we didn't.

The t-shirt in question
But as for what I did see.... This was my first hockey game of the year, and also a Blue Line meeting. For those who don't know, the Blue Line is the UConn ice hockey student fan club. Well, they were giving away free t-shirts at this one, and as you can see, they look a lot like last year's.

Well, after eating free pizza for half an hour, I got into my seat to watch the game. Puck drop was at 7:05. And it looked close for a while until Robert Morris got a goal to make it 1-0. It went to the end of the first period that way. In the second period, Robert Morris went up 4-0 and it seemed all but over. But for the time being, I remained in my seat and it worked out. A puck flew into the stands and lodged right on the seat in front of me. I reached over and picked it up off the empty bench. After verifying that it was ok, I picked it up and pocketed it. My lucky day, I guess. Well, it really wasn't.

Jordan Sims got a goal to make it 4-1 going into the break, but it didn't look like it would be enough. Then I left, thinking we had all but lost. But when I got back to my dorm, I found we had lost 4-3, and almost sent the game to overtime. The moral of the story? Never leave a game early. I'll start with that tonight. 7:05 vs. Robert Morris again. We are now tied with Niagara for fifth in the AHA standings. The Purple Eagles play American International and should win again tonight. So we need to win. Go Huskies!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekly Schedule for January 23-29 + UPDATE ON WEEKEND

Here is an update on which games I will be attending, starting with an update on this weekend, and continuing through next weekend.


(Y) - Will Attend
(P) - Probably Attending
(M) - Might Attend
(D) - Doubtful to Attend
(O) - Other


7:05 PM: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Robert Morris (P)


7:05 PM: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Robert Morris (Y)

Sunday, January 22

2:00 PM: Women's Ice Hockey vs. Boston College (Y)

Friday, January 27:

7:05 PM: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Holy Cross (M)

Saturday, January 28:

1:00 PM: Women's Basketball vs. South Florida (Y)

Sunday, January 29:

12:00 PM: Men's Basketball vs. Notre Dame (Y)
2:00 PM: Women's Ice Hockey vs. Providence (O - will probably attend when I get back from hoops if it's still happening)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Game 2-2-70: Men's Basketball vs. Cincinnati

What: Men's Basketball vs. Cincinnati
When: Wednesday, January 18, 7:00 PM
Where: Gampel Pavilion
Result: Loss, 70-67

This was my first look in person at a young Huskies team. And for most of the game, we played very poorly. Our team trailed 42-33 at halftime and we were booed off the court. It seemed Kemba Walker couldn't bring the same magic from the stands that he did on the court.

The second half didn't start out much better, and soon the Bearcats were up 48-37. Then Tyler Olander made a layup to cut it to single-digits, and our fortune began to change. Niels Giffey made a three-pointer, and Jeremy Lamb made a layup off a block by Andre Drummond. Lead was down to four - timeout Cincinnati. The Bearcats turned it over leading into the media timeout, and Jeremy Lamb hit a jumper to cut it to a two-point game. But Shabazz Napier missed a three which would have given us the lead. A Yancy Gates layup at the other end brought the lead back up to four, But we managed to go on a 6-0  run to take a 52-50 lead. Stand up Gampel!

This excitement would quickly be deflated, however, by a Dion Dixon three-pointer. A series of back-and-forth buckets gave us a 57-55 lead with 6:35 to go. But it seemed Cincy was doing everything right, including making threes. And Cashmere Wright hit one to put them up by a point. Before we knew it, the 'Cats were on a 10-0 run to go up 65-57 with 2:53 left. It seemed all but over and the fans started heading towards the exits as an irate Jim Calhoun took a time out.

Fortunately, Gampel is poorly designed and most of them were still stuck in the aisles when Shabazz Napier hit two quick threes to cut it to a 66-63 game with 1:04 left. (So that's why they cramped the aisles together...) Dion Dixon missed a jumper and Shabazz got the rebound. He was then fouled on a layup drive and sent to the line for two. He made the first and barely missed the second. 66-64, 22 seconds left. Napier fouled Dixon, who made the first but missed the second. And then it was Shabazz again, making a three to tie the game at 67-67. And the arena went wild. Alas, Sean Kilpatrick made a three with 2.7 second left, appearing to put the Bearcats up for good. But Calhoun called a timeout to set us up for one last chance. Inbounds to Olander, desperation heave, and.... off the front of the rim, just short! Basketball is a game of inches, and a few inches stronger could have meant overtime. But, it didn't.

Not what I wanted to see this team do. I just hope I'm not the bringer of bad luck to the team. Well, it doesn't look like my night class will be canceled at this point, so my next game will be men's ice hockey Saturday night.

Oh, and remember what I said about "game of inches"? Well, during one of the TV timeouts, a fan (overenergentic student) had one chance to make a half court shot to win a seven-day, four-person trip to Disney World. Not much of a chance, right? Alas, the ball rolled around the cylinder, and then out. Poor kid.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Update on Attendance

Just some updates

  • I will be attending the men's basketball game vs. Cincinnati tonight.
  • Unless it snows, I will not attend women's game vs. Cincinnati tomorrow night. However, they are predicting a bit of snow in the evening, so maybe night classes will be canceled. That would be a nice surprise. 
  • I will likely not attend men's hockey vs. Robert Morris on Friday night, but will definitely attend Saturday night. 
  • A schedule for next week should be up in the next couple days. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Game #2-1-69: Women's Basketball vs. North Carolina

Note: The title is in the new format for game numbers, which is season-game for season-overall game. So, Game 1 of season 2, Game 69 overall.

What: Women's Basketball vs. North Carolina
When: Monday, January 16th, 7:00 PM
Where: Gampel Pavilion
Result: Win, 86-35

Wow. This was my first game back, and it was a blowout, ugly win for the Huskies. Well, I was at Gampel when doors opened at 5:30, and it felt great to be back. As I was sitting in my seat for 90 minutes before tip-off, I was finally watching UConn. Then, we started pounding the Tar Heels into the ground and things were back to normal.

I couldn't see how many points the Tar Heels had due to the shot clock being in the way, but it didn't much matter sine they weren't doing much scoring anyway. There were times when they'd go six or eight minutes without making a bucket. Once we pulled our starters, they managed to almost cut the lead to 50. Almost... That's pretty bad. Or maybe we're that good. We definitely needed this win to bounce back from what by our very high standards was a rough stretch. The girls seemed to be energized by the students being back. Keep it up!

I managed to snag a free UConn women's poster to hang up in my room (the first UConn poster for me this year) and I got to see us clobber the Tar Heels big time. What a way for me to return. I'm impressed.

Plus, there was the one thing I'd forgotten about since my last women's game - student loyalty. No, I didn't win, but it's still cool. And Geno made fun of some girl who looked like she was 13 but was really a junior. Maybe in high school? Well, let's hope the Huskies continue down this road for the rest of the season.

I may be at the men's game tomorrow night, but will be missing the women's game Thursday for class. Friday I will probably not attend hockey, but Saturday night I will (against Robert Morris). Sunday afternoon is women's hockey vs. Boston College, but that's five days away. We've got some time.

It's good to be back.. Go Huskies!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tonight's the Night!

Tonight, after eight long months, one summer vacation, one medical leave, and one winter break of waiting, I attend my first UConn athletic event since April 25th. But when I walk through the doors of Gampel Pavilion at roughly 5:30 PM tonight, I will be getting ready to watch the Huskies women's basketball team take on UNC. And finally, I will be able to root for the Huskies in person again. It looks like I will attend three or four games this week. Next week I might attend my 75th game ever if things go right. Let's hope the Huskies do well while I'm here. Expect a post about the UNC game tonight or tomorrow. So Let's Go Huskies!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Weekly Schedule for Week of January 16-22

Finally! I'm going back to school on Janary 15th, after eight months of being on summer break/medical leave/winter break. But now I'll be back. And I'll be attending UConn Huskies game. Of course, all of these games will be accompanied by detailed reviews of how things went. I'm looking forward to it. Without further adieu, here we go.


(Y)=Definitely Attending
(P) = Probably Attending
(M) = Might Attend
(D) = Doubtful to Attend
(N) = Not Attending (only explicitly stated in notable cases)

Monday, January 16:

7:00 PM: Women's Basketball vs. North Carolina (Y)

Wednesday, January 18:

7:00 PM: Men's Basketball vs. Cincinnati (M) It will depend on whether a club I'm in is meeting that night or not.

Thursday, January 19:

7:30 PM: Women's Basketball vs. Cincinnati (D) I have class at that time. I will only attend if class is canceled due to snow or possibly I will arrive late if class lets out early for whatever reason.

Friday, January 20:

7:05 PM: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Robert Morris (M)

Saturday, January 21:

7:05 PM: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Robert Morris (Y)

Sunday, January 22:

2:00 PM: Women's Ice Hockey vs. Boston College (Y)

In summary, we have three  definite "yes"es, two maybes, and one highly doubtful. That is all for now. Only 10 days! 

Update: Originally, Men's Basketball on the 18th was listed as "Yes". It is now "Maybe".