#42 of 351 12% complete
The University of New Hampshire campus reminded me of UCONN in the seventies. As one drives by the dairy farms, veterinary clinics and horse stalls, I was reminded of the epic Yankee Conference battles between New Hampshire and UCONN in the late 60’s. UCONN and UNH have gone opposite ways in terms of athletics but nevertheless I could feel the ghosts of Wes Bialosuknia and Toby Kimball in the gym.
Today was youth day with many families in the crowds. It is a piece of Americana when a father brings his daughter dressed in a cheerleader uniform to these games. Although hockey is king at UNH, I was surprised by the size of the crowd. However, there was no band or any student section. This was the one trip a year where I bring my wife Linda. In exchange for her hardship, I agree to go shopping or something else that she likes. She did make the comment that she likes live basketball instead of seeing it on television. Perhaps there is hope that she will fully commit to Operation 351 in the future.
This was the first time that I have seen cheerleaders do no other move other than flying back flips across the court. It was fun to watch but their chants were hard to hear standing at the back of the gym. They never did come out once to lead the crowd in a cheer. No big deal for me but you tend to notice little things like this when you are on your forty second game.
As with many of my games, I am not familiar with the personnel or how the team is doing for the year. However, I can pick up indicators from the roster that tends to make one team favorite over the other. When I see two senior guards that probably have played together for four years, I always see solid play from these individuals. They seem to know where the other guard is at all times and rarely make stupid decisions. This was the case of UNH senior guards Jaleen Smith and Daniel Dion. Their team play made the difference in the game for UNH.
Speaking of Operation 351, I heard that that there may be 2 more teams entering the Division 1 arena making 353 Division 1 teams. So let me state here that this journey, this mission will always be named Operation 351. I will add or drop teams as they migrate to or from Division 1 to complete my goal but the name stays the same.
This was a hard fought America East battle with Binghamton coming back in the second half from a large deficit to make it interesting in the end. UNH’s superior ball handling was valuable in wasting time off the clock to thwart Binghamton’s comeback.