Binghamton (66) vs. New Hampshire (73) 1/14/17

#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.

IMG_0646.JPG

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.

img_0649

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.

img_0650

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.

img_0648

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.

img_0651

 

Advertisements

Hartford (65) vs. Dartmouth (74) 12/5/2015

#20 of 351

 

A shout out to my friend Andy who accompanied me to Hanover, New Hampshire (about a 2 1/2 hour ride from Connecticut). He is crazy about sports like me. Two wild and crazy guys spending a Saturday afternoon somewhere in God’s country watching college basketball. It doesn’t get any better than that.

It has been a recurring pattern that I have absolutely no problem getting to the campus but once I am there, finding the arena is a challenge. Sometimes the arena is not on the map but the whole fitness facility center is. Sometimes the arena is nowhere near the entrance where you first came in. I can always judge the popularity of the men’s basketball program by the answers I get asking where is the basketball arena. Today, I got three wrong answers by students and adults walking in the campus. Can you imagine anyone on Storrs (UCONN) not knowing where Gampel is?

The result today was a shock to me. Seeing last night Marist being demolished last night by Iona and seeing that Marist had beat Dartmouth earlier this season, I would have imagined an easy win for Hartford. WRONG!

Dartmouth had too much height inside. Ivy league seniors are the ones that always step up with the big plays. Kudos to Dartmouth seniors Brandon McDonnell and Connor Boehm with yeoman’s work on the boards. Hartford could not match up physically with Big Green. I don’t think Dartmouth is on the same level as Yale or Columbia but they will make some noise this year.

Did you know that Dartmouth has been to the final four twice?

Stadium Journey: http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/edward-leede-arena-s712