Kennesaw State (86) vs. North Florida (89) 01/05/2023

Game #109 of 363 30% complete

We begin our three-game trip to Florida here at North Florida University. I have waited many years for Northern Florida and Jacksonville University to play with close dates. This was also an opportunity to stay at the Margaritaville Hotel on the beach. Although not beach weather but still warm for us Connecticut folks, the scenery was beautiful and a welcome sight versus the cold northeast winter.

My wife Linda accompanied me on this trip. We try to do one Operation 351 trip together a year. Linda is far from a college basketball fan so four trips to different Home Goods, two trips to Marshalls and one to TJ Maxx was part of the tourism events. Trust me in that this was an even deal for me!

Jose Placer for the Northern Florida Ospreys was honored before the game with his 1000-point career. Jose would play a big part in the win as I will point out later on.

There were a couple of firsts for me here. The grey floor was a color that I have not seen before in a college basketball arena. The nickname Ospreys is a cool name but unique to me at least. I could not find another team with that name.

We were burned once again with a clear bag policy at the arena. We had to return Linda’s purse to the car because they would not let us through. This happened to us a couple of years ago at the University of Central Florida game. We performed some good deeds by warning some other ladies of this clear bag policy when we were walking back to the parking garage and noticed they were carrying purses as well. I guess that looking through each bag would take more time, but it’s not like there is a long line to get in. Her purse stayed home for the next two games.

In the 2015-15, the Ospreys made their first ever appearance in March madness by winning the ASUN tournament for the first time. As a No. 16 seed in the NCAA tournament, they were defeated by fellow No. 16 seed Robert Morris in the First Four. A display was set up in the lobby to commemorate the special season.

The game turned out to be one of the more exciting games on my travels. Jose Placer hit a contested long three-point shot to tie the game with under a minute to play and followed up with a last second three-point shot from the top of the key to win it for the Ospreys. I mentioned to Linda that most of the games end up a winner for the home team, but I knew that I had to quantify this for Operation 351.

The record for my 109 games is Home Team wins 86 games. Away Team wins 23 games.

Hartford dropped from D-1 to D-3 this year. After much thought on how to note this in my blog statistics, I have decided to drop my count back to 109 games from 110. I have no blog post for Hartford since I counted them before I began my blog. This is frustrating to say the least in addition to the number of D-1 schools growing from 351 (i.e., Operation 351) to 363 this year. Is there an end in sight?

I do wish that arenas would keep the final score on the big scoreboard so I can get a picture instead of what you see below.

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