|The Pit - Home of the University of New Mexico|
Upon arrival I rented a car from Alamo for the weekend. I reserved a compact car. I went out to pick a car and the young man told me they only had two left and they were hatchbacks which means they had no trunk. I told him I need a trunk. He said to go ahead and take the Chevy Cruze, a mid size car which was equipped with a XM radio too. He said it's a free upgrade. What a royal way to start the trip.
The King and I got in the car and off we went. Thankfully we were only a few miles from The Pit, home of the University of New Mexico Lobos basketball team where we were meeting up with Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell aka USRT from Buffalo. They're regulars when it comes to attending these kind of events. They arrived in Albuquerque on Wednesday afternoon. I wrote Andrew on the way to car rental so I could find out the parking options since we were in a rush. He said you could park right near the arena for $20 or he saw an area not far away where people were parking for free. He gave me the exact address. I went on google maps and I plugged it in. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise since we were pressed for time to make the opening tip off at 12:10PM for the first of four games that were going to be played. Mind you were still needed tickets. I wound up rounding up a pair for $50 for the King & I and we just got in the building in time for opening tip between the Wisconsin Badgers the four seed and the Montana Grizzlies a thirteen seed.
The Pit was hosting the second and third round of the NCAA tournament. In other words, a portion of March Madness.
We got in contact with Andrew and Peter and we all wound up sitting together for the game.
As for the first game we saw, it was somewhat close in the first half as the Badgers held the lead. In the second half, they pulled away as they moved on to the next round with a 73-49 victory. As for the Grizzlies, they were one and done.
As Jay Z says, it was on to the next one. In game two of the first session the fifth seeded Vanderbilt Commodores were taking on the twelfth seeded Harvard Crimson who were playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1946. It should be noted that's where Jeremy Lin of the Knicks went to school.
On our plane ride from Dallas to Albuquerque, I did noticed a handful of people who were wearing their Harvard gear. It's safe to assume they were going to the game too.
As for the game we saw, the Commodores outlasted the Crimson, 79-70. Harvard hung tough but they ran out of gas in the latter part of the second half as Vanderbilt moved on to the next round.
After that game, we had to leave the building so they could get ready for the next session which was two more games.
Unlike Andrew and Peter, who had bought tickets in advance for all three sessions as a package, the King and I weren't certain of our game plan so we decided to wait and see. By doing so, we needed to find another pair of tickets outside so we could reenter the Pit for session two. Luckily they're were a number of people who were looking to dump extra tickets they had. I wound up getting a great deal $40 for a pair and we went back in once they allowed us to reenter.
We once again we reunited with Andrew and Peter and we sat in the same place that we watched the first session from.
This time we saw the third seeded Baylor Bears play the fourteenth seeded Jack Rabbits of South Dakota State.
As for the game we saw, the Jack Rabbits raced out to 8-0 lead but unfortunately for them they petered out fast as the Bears decked out in their wild neon green uniforms blew past the Jack Rabbits as they advanced to the next round, 68-60.
In the fourth and final game of the day, we saw the UNLV Runnin' Rebels, a sixth seed played the Buffaloes of Colorado, an eleventh seed who were playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003.
In the first three games we saw the higher seeded team won. Now the question was will we see four out of four.
Our friend Phil Butleman is a big fan of UNLV. Too bad he couldn't join us. In his absence, we were pulling for his team.
As for the game we saw, the Runnin' Rebels got run off the court by the Buffaloes much to the delight of the crowd which was mixed throughout the day. At night the Buffaloes who had the most support in the stands rose to the occasion as they beat UNLV, 68-64 to move on to the next round.
The King and I had a long day and we saw history because this was the first time we've ever seen four games in a day on any level.
The last game ended just before 11PM local time. After the game we dropped off Andrew and Peter at their nearby hotel. They were planning to go to Santa Fe to sight see on Friday during the day and they were going to see the University of New Mexico play a college baseball game Friday night.
The King and I decided to take a 400 plus mile ride to Arizona so we could take in a few Spring Training games while we were out there.
We drove to Holbrook, Arizona which was 234 miles from the Pit in Albuquerque to spend the night at Super 8.
Stay tuned as I will do a special post that will recap the way we spent our Friday out further West.
Thank you for reading and following along.