Binghamton (65) vs. Albany (84) 01/19/17

#43 of 351    12% complete



This is my second 2 1/2 hour trip to Albany in 2 weeks. There is a marked contrast between the Siena arena and the University of Albany arena. The Times Union Center used by Siena was located downtown in a not too friendly looking part of town. Let’s just say it was a quick walk from the parking garage to the arena. The SEFCU arena used by Albany is on their campus and located in a suburban area marked by shopping centers and malls. I was surprised since Albany is part of the SUNY system (public) and expected that its campus would be less distinctive but I was wrong. The Albany campus was green and wide open. I had wished the  Albany game was during the day so I could take a look around.


I have a complaint about the SEFCU scoreboards. Nowhere to be found was a point total by an individual player. There was some hot shooting for Albany and it would have been interesting to see the running total for certain players. The corners of the arena were filled with a huge TV broadcasting the game. Nice but useless in my opinion. This arena wins the prize for the most boring scoreboard.


It seems that every mid major has a small point guard from the Chicago area. Tonight was Albany guard David Nichols who lit up the floor for 25 points. So another pet peeve –  can you list the player’s height in the program? I am guessing that Nichols was 6 foot. He was quick and had the mid jumper on fire. I was also impressed with sophomore Joe Cremo who was the freshman of the year last year in the America East. I appreciate guys who have an high basketball IQ. Cremo was also very hot but always distributed the ball at the right time.


Binghamtom wins the prizes for the most appearances to date in Operation 351 – 3 so far. They were all away games for Binghamton. Their home game will require an overnighter along with Buffalo, Syracuse, St. Bonaventure and Cansisus. I am hoping to do Cornell and Colgate in separate one day  trips thus completing New York State.


A special shout out to the Albany uniform. It was a combination of purple and gold. A very cool combination! Plus as a dog lover, the statue of the Great Dane in the arena was neat to see.

Albany completely outplayed Binghamton from the opening bell. I am surprised that they are only 11-9 for the year. They had some good shooters and played great defense. I expect them to make noise in the America East tournament.  Perhaps we will see them in March.




Albany (69) vs. Vermont (57) 1/09/2016

#25 of 35                       IMG_2273

My wife Linda was supposed to accompany me for an overnight to Burlington but she fell sick the last minute. My friend Kevin stepped in as the substitute. All I can say is that the weekend changed from a trip to the mall and Ben & Jerry’s factory site to a night drinking beer watching football and my beloved UCONN.  Linda will be making another attempt in Maine later this month.


When I first walked into the gym, I was shocked at the number of folks in the stands. Up to now, my experience with small gyms has been a vista of sparsely scattered fans in the stands. The large crowd made for comfy seating as Kevin and I stepped over people to get to our seats. However the lack of cheerleaders and a pep band did result in a quieter crowd.


As I drove up to Vermont on I-89, I wondered what people do up here for fun. Most of the scenery were trees and farm. You very rarely saw a house. Perhaps UVA basketball provides that fun and thereby results in a bountiful fan showing.


I was very impressed with Albany. They are fundamentally sound and have some big horses underneath to cause any team fits. I am looking forward to seeing them in the big dance. Two of the Albany players were from Australia which seems to have more players than ever playing in the NCAA. One benefit of this journey is that it will be fun watching the league tournaments with now having some knowledge of the teams playing.

Seeing Vermont play brought back memories back to 2005 when they defeated Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA dance. I remember the big man Taylor Coppernath becoming the darling of the tournament.

Stadium Journey: