Holy Cross (68) vs. Boston University (83) 02/27/2016

#33 of 351

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I was accompanied on this doubleheader day by my cousin Mike who loves all sports. We headed over to the Heat/Celtics game after this one. Before the game, we met up with Greg and Ryan who are fellow Basketball Passporters and rabid Boston U. fans. The brothers graduated from Boston University in 2013 and attend every home BU game. Greg reached out to me via the Passport web site so we decided to head to the Sunset Cantina before the game to talk about what else college basketball and specifically his beloved Terriers.

Boston U was missing four starters today through injuries but needed this game to host the first Patriot league tourney game. I was given the lowdown of the Terriers by Greg and Ryan. They have a strong passion for their team which hits home for me. They have also done a little traveling trying to bring up their Passport numbers. I found out that the BU head coach Joe Jones is the brother of the Yale head coach. I learned that center Blaise Mbargorba from Cameroon like many African transplants played almost no basketball growing up but was good at soccer. Amidah Brimah of UConn has the same story.  Greg and Ryan left early to catch the senior ceremony but it was great to talk college BB with fellow fanatics. Thanks to Greg and Ryan for their hospitality! I never root for a team on my travels but in this case I was a Terrier fan for the day.

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Case Arena was your typical small arena that I have come across in my journey. However, this was the first small arena where every seat was a chair back. We also had to climb a few flights of stairs because the arena is on top of the building.

The pep band was loud. The crowd was very enthusiastic. John Papale was one of the seniors who put on a great shooting display. I came to learn later on that he was named on of the top 25 3-point shooters in the country by ESPN.

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I was impressed with the play of previously mentioned 6′ 11″ B.U. center Blaise Mbargorba. He look very polished and comfortable with outstanding footwork and a soft touch. He is a junior so I will keep an eye on him next year.

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So here is my meaningless rant for the day. When the cheerleaders throw T-shirts in the crowd, can they sometimes climb the stairs and reach some of the folks who are sitting up higher up? Now I don’t really want a T-shirt but I witnessed a little boy in the arms of his father who was crying because the shirts were never thrown close to him. You could make the case that the father should teach the boy that life is very hard and to get a grip. Had I caught one, I would have given it to him.

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Despite being short handed, the Terriers went on for a victory over the Crusaders. Boston U. fans await the Patriot tourney because winning it all is their only hope of making the NCAA dance. Hey Greg and Ryan — I will  be rooting for you!

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Army (65) vs. Holy Cross (69) 01/20/2016

#27 of 351

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Seeing the statue of Bob Cousy in front of the gym and looking through the trophies and plaques in the lobby, one is reminded of the glory days of Holy Cross basketball where they were the premier New England basketball team in the forties and fifties.

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Army was missing their top scorer Tanner Plomb so I expected a close game which it was. Looking at the trim and fit Army players, you wonder how anyone could keep with them but this a basketball game not a boot camp training exercise. Holy Cross players were quicker led by  freshman Karl Charles and junior Malachi Alexander. They consistently drove the range invoking fouls with their quick slashing movements.

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There were no cheerleaders, pep band or loud student section. But as always in these small gyms, there is one very loud older fan doing his best to urge his Crusaders on. His constant chant of “defense” rang through out the arena.

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The head coach for Holy Cross is Bill Carmody who coached Northwestern for many years and spent four years at Princeton. I always wonder how coaches for teams like Holy Cross spin their recruiting talks. Holy Cross is an excellent academic school so I guess you would start there but playing for sparse crowds in the Patriot league must be a tough sell.

I was accompanied by my friend Tony “Doc” Priore who recently retired. I was glad to give him a close exciting game to watch. He is older than me and appreciates the old days of college basketball like myself.

For anyone attending a Holy Cross game, be sure to check out the Brew City Grille. I had their signature hamburger with  dozens of choices for a brew.

Be sure to check out the view of Worcester from the arena. Being that Holy Cross is on a hill overlooking the city, it is a great view.

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Stadium Journeys: http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/hart-recreation-center-s720