Tag Archives: March Madness

L.A. to The Bay…3/22-24The Road to The Final Four

The evening prior to making my way to San Jose for the NCAA March Madness Regionals, I would take in a Kings game at Staples Center against, of course, the San Jose Sharks. With the SAP Center being occupied for the upcoming weekend for the NCAA Regional’s the Sharks would be on the road. Though the Kings have had a rough year on the ice, they would still come out on top on this Thursday evening on a night we’d receive a miniature Wayne Gretzky statue…

20190321_191051This one’s JUST a little larger than our mini statue…

On this night our lovable Lion King of a mascot, Bailey, couldn’t help but poke fun at our NoCal rivals…

After seeing a rare Kings win, I decide to take in some late night bites at a historic 24-hour L.A. institution, The Pantry…

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20190321_231316I can never go wrong with the Ham Steak & Eggs…

Allright, time to head to LAX and TRY, I mean, TRY to get some shut-eye before a Friday Morning 7AM departure…

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20190322_065126Little Bailey decided to tag along for this road trip…

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Our featured mural for this trip, painted sometime in the mid to late 2000’s with the image of Joe Thornton of the Sharks and¬† HP Pavillion, now the SAP Center. There was recent talk of this iconic mural going away to perhaps make way for (more)¬†Google Transit development,¬†an already¬†sore topic to residents in San Francisco.¬†If visiting San Jose anytime soon, you may want to capture a pic of this mural before it potentially goes away…

20190322_101922SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks and host of the NCAA Mens Basketball Regionals

20190322_102024Little Bailey having a great time trolling the streets outside the SAP Center…

Here for my first ever March Madness assignment for Stadium Journey the day would start off early as the first of four games for the day would match the 13th seed UC Irvine Anteaters against the 4th seed Kansas State Wildcats. 

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There’s a reason why they call this March Madness. Schools that you least expect to make in impact end up coming out of nowhere and making a name for themselves. The first game would see UC Irvine pull off the first upset of the day. The win by the Anteaters would be the first ever tournament win for UCI to the delight of many in the building. Though UCI did bring a good contingent up from SoCal, the building was decidedly pulling for the underdog, as most venues in the early rounds tend to do…

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The second of four for the day would pit the Pac-12 against the Big-10 as the 12th seed Oregon Ducks would take on the 5th seed Wisconsin Badgers. Any college basketball fan will tell you that 12th seeds have a long history of pulling off first round upsets and the Oregon Ducks, who struggled early in the season but finished strong and we’re one of the hottest teams entering the tournament.¬†

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As you can see Wisconsin was no match for Oregon as the Ducks would dominate Wisconsin, making them the second team to pull of an upset on this day. On a side note, though Oregon was a 12th seed, it really wasn’t much of an upset as mentioned earlier they we’re one of the hottest teams coming into the tournament and 12 seeds have a history of pulling off first round upsets. But an upset is just that….

20190322_154454Deforest Buckner, defensive tackle for the 49ERS showing support for his alma mater…

20190322_154624Had I known I would cross paths with DeFo I’d have donned my Niner hat. DeFo was very gracious taking pics with the Oregon and Niner Faithful…

20190322_144127Time to do a hard push to set up for games 3 and 4. Do your business before the “under four” timeout…

20190322_104308Time to help myself to a couple cupcakes provided to the media. That’s quite a display. I’m tempted to want to chomp on that chocolate replica trophy…

20190322_155117Counting down the minutes to tip-off between the 12th seed Liberty University Flames and the 5th seed Mississippi State Bulldogs

In spite of¬† Liberty U being one of those lower seed schools that could carry your heartwarming March Madness story-line, not everyone¬†was crazy about jumping on Liberty U’s Cinderella bandwagon.¬†

Nonetheless, Liberty U would make their own March Madness history by knocking off Mississippi State and becoming the third double-seed team at the SAP Center. With one more game to go talk started swirling around the building of a complete 4-game sweep by double digit seeded teams. With their victory, Liberty U, like UCI earlier would win their first ever NCAA March Madness game. 

20190322_184924Liberty U players celebrating with their fans after their first NCAA tourney victory…

One more game to go on this Friday, this time between the 4th seed Virginia Tech Hokies and the 13th seed St. Louis Billikens. Can St. Louis pull off the sweep?

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Not quite. A cold start by the Billikens would lead to their demise as Virginia Tech would escape the barrage of upsets…

20190322_213305Counting down the final seconds…

20190322_21350020190322_213634End of Day One. Time to get some rest…

The first day of action would provide plenty of excitement. According to sources, the SAP Center would be the 7th venue to produce 3 double-seed first round winners. Had St. Louis U been able to pull off the sweep, the SAP Center would have been only the second venue to pull off a 4-game first-round sweep by double-seed teams. Hey, 3 of 4 isn’t bad, 2 of the 3 winning their first tourney game ever and the 12th seed Oregon, well, could they really be considered a Cinderella?¬†

Saturday, 3/23. Media Day

FB_IMG_1553531656115Interviewing UCI Guard Max Hazzard, the grandson of former UCLA Bruin Walt Hazzard. Max would hit a buzzer beating trey at the end of their first half battle with Kansas State that would send the ‘Eaters into the locker tied at 30 at the half… (Pic credit UCI Mens Basketball)

The day between rounds would give the media a chance to catch up with the players and coaches of the first round victors. 

20190323_144355Oregon Ducks forward and Bay Area native Kenny Wooten (Check out his tat…). Kenny Wooten is not to be confused with another legendary Kenny from UO,¬†Kenny Wheaton

After the day’s media sessions, I would head over to the Hayes Mansion where a pep rally would be held for UC Irvine. (Hey, I gotta show my support for our states only team in the tourney. Besides, who doesn’t like a good Cinderella story?)

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20190323_190011Hey, I’m in Northern California. Why not indulge in some of their finest wine and cheese selections?

Sunday, March 22

20190324_120534Lil’ Bailey sure having a great time “trolling” the streets of San Jose…

20190324_120617We’re doing the best we can to stay out of any mischief before the Sunday games…

20190324_121653The second of two games. The game I wanted to watch but couldn’t because I had to catch my flight out of San Jose. The tipoff for that second game would be later than I expected…

20190324_124544.jpgWith some time to kill before the first game I decide to stroll the concourse and check out the plaques displayed along the San Jose Sports HOF. Here is one for former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who played an instrumental role in landing L.A. the 1984 Olympics…

20190324_125742Throughout the 80’s the 49ERS teams we’re often labled a “finesse” team. If that was the case, Ronnie Lott never got that memo…

20190324_125224The man who started a Dynasty…R.I.P. Dwight Clark

 

As for the first game of Sunday between Liberty U and Virginia Tech the Hokies would end Liberty U’s dream of moving on to the Sweet 16. The final day of games in San Jose would not produce the dramatics that Friday’s games did as Oregon, in spite of a frantic 2nd half rally by UCI, would be too much for the Anteaters as they would punch their ticket to the Sweet 16…

20190324_171013Lil’ Bailey and Blue we’re on their best behavior during the weekend, even receiving some love from the UCI folks and surprisingly some of the locals as well (They must’ve been A’s fans…)

It was a fun weekend in San Jose. It was fun hearing stories from the visiting fans and reporters particularly those from Kansas and Virginia talking about seeing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. That must’ve been some hella-hyphy sight for our visitors (Yup, we just used the Bay-Area slang once again…)

The SAP Center is tied with the Honda Center in Anaheim as the 4th oldest NHL venue. Like the Honda Center, it has that early 90’s feel but like the OC venue, don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon…

20190324_170717It was HELLA fun, San Jose! Next stop…The Sweet 16 and Elite 8…Anaheim !!!

20190323_191250ZOT ZOT !!!

20190323_19130320190323_191414It was a great run by UCI…

So that was my weekend in The Bay. Here’s some other bits from¬†my Stadium Journey piece.¬†

20190323_191755Kicking it with Peter the Anteater. It was a fun run, stay hungry Pete !!!

Check out my Facebook page,¬†Drei and Company’s Stadium Journeys.¬†

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Throwing Back Thursday…A March Madness Tale

Leading Off…R.I.P. Joe

A good part of my childhood on Saturday afternoons was spent watching the NBC Game of The Week, listening to the tandem of our Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola. Vin_Joe G.jpg

The man who would along with Vin call 3 of the most epic games of my childhood, one involving heartbreak ( Jack Clark in 1985 ) and one that even Hollywood couldn’t script ( Gibson, 1988 ),¬†broadcasting legend Joe Garagiola passed away Wednesday at the age of 90.¬†

DODGERS_Joe G Vin Tommy Joe, Tommy and Vin

A March Madness Tale

March Madness is the first sounds of the cry…”PLAY BALL”…

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March Madness is Kid Marley Marlz dreaming of a World Series title…

March Madness…March Madness is KID…

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and Dre blowing bubbles…Waiting for the season to start

March Madness… March Madness has been anything but kind to Dre…

For Dre must now wait before he can play…

Dre and Drei, both feeling Blue, and not the right kind of Blue…

Oh the madness…

Madness Moments…Throwing Back Thursday…HEARTBREAK CITY, Oakland CA, 2006

As the Madness continues tonight with some Sweet 16 action, let’s go back 10 years to one of my favorite March Madness moments…HEARTBREAK CITY…

33ab.jpgSS…H¬†With Jordan Farmar, ¬†godson of former Dodger Eric Davis. This was after his final ever game at Pauley Pavillion, unbeknownst anyone’s knowledge, March 2006 before…THE MADNESS…HEARTBREAK CITY !!!¬†

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Also throwing back to 2006…BACK THE PACK…3 Bruins and a Duck…Now, it’s Oregon who is representing the Pac 12 in The Sweet 16…¬†So, how have your brackets held up ? Or are you just like the rest of us ? Just waiting for baseball to start ? Yup, the wait can be…VERY MAD’NING…Yup, It’s March Madness…

9th Inning

wp-1458705266252.jpeg¬†WAKE UP KID !!! IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL !!!

 

 

Throwback Thursday…Jackie’s First Game…Oh The Madness…

Leading Off…HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY !

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Jackie’s First Game, 3/17/1946

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OK. You’re all probably saying, ” Wait a minute, wasn’t his first MLB game on 4/15/1947 ? ” That is correct folks. However,¬†Jackie Robinson’s first ever integrated spring training game¬†would take place on this day, 70 years ago on March 17, 1946 in Daytona Beach Florida for the Montreal Royals, the Triple A affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Here is perhaps the earliest recording of Jackie Robinson playing for Montreal on April 2, 1946…¬†

Throwback Thursday…Drei’s March Madness Memories

¬† ¬† ¬†“Let‚Äôs hope UCLA can continue their streak and perhaps RETURN TO GLORY.¬† Good luck Bruins in ¬† ¬† ¬† the NCAA Tourney.¬† U‚ĶC‚ĶLLLL A‚ĶUCLA FIGHT ! FIGHT ! FIGHT ! “

My words from 2006 as prior to¬†UCLA’s run toward The Final Four. These day’s, the¬†State of UCLA Basketball is anything but glorious, another reason why Drei can’t wait for the regular season to arrive. But hey, i’m sure many of you have a great interest. Before your done reading this post, your brackets ( As well as mine ) will probably be broken. Yup, it’s March Madness folks…

7f72.jpg¬†3/12 2006. 3 Bruins and a Duck. Fast forward to the current day and it’s now Oregonwho is atop the conference and the top seed in the west. Oregon is one of 7 Pac-12 schools, including USC, playing in the tournament…

33ab.jpgKickin’ it with Jordan Farmar, 3/12/2006. Unknown at the time of this pic this was after Jordan’s final game at Pauley Pavillion. I asked Jordan if he’d be playing for dough come October ” Let me hang a banner up there first…” As for that 12th banner, well…LOL

fb_img_1458184060124.jpgFormer Bruin and current assistant Tyus Edney…

fb_img_1458184261883.jpg¬†Ty Edney will always have a place in the heart of this Bruin fan for one moment in ’95 that took all but 4.8 seconds…

wp-1458188472318.jpeg¬†Well Skip, since our Sons of Westwood ain’t dancin’, hopefully you’ll be the one who get’s us to that ” Other ” dance come October. It’s been 28 years..

So what’s your favorite March Madness memory ?¬†

 

 

 

Blue Down Under and Spring Madness

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The Dodgers finished a very successful road trip to open the season, sweeping the Arizona Diamonbacks in their brief 2 game series.

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Dee Gordon all smiles as he climbs the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  I really hope he wins the 2nd base starting job .

March Madness

OK, I know a lot of you are also pauing attention to March Madness.  So far our west coast teams have had a strong showing with San Diego State advancing and Stanford pulling off the upset over Kansas earlier today.   Speaking of Madness, with the Bruins playing later today in the round of 32, here’s my favorite moment….

4.8 – Tyus Edney 1995 NCAA Tournament: http://youtu.be/pHceOvR464s

It’s been 19 years ( Time sure fly’s fast…) since Tyus Edney’s mad dash .  As one put it, Boise to Oakland in 4.8 …

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Tyus Edney .  One of many Bruins who have had the honor of signing my Pyramid of Success poster. 

Dont you just love this time of year ?  All shades of Blue working as one…

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Go Dodgers !!!  UCLA FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT !!!

Countdown to Opening Series…. 2

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The most famous Dodger to evr wear the number 2….. Tommy Lasorda.  Lasorda would manage from 1976-1996.  From 1958-1996 he was one of only 2 who managed the Los Angeles Dodgers, the other of course being Walter Alston.  Since, the Dodgers have had 7 different managers.  9 managers in 56 years in Los Angeles.  Still not bad.  Probably as many as Steinbrenner had in a 5 year period back in his heyday……

March Madness

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So, who else has already lost out on their Billion bucks ?

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With former UCLA point guard Tyus Edney.  We’ll always remember the buzzer beater in ’95 against Missouri….

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And former UCLA point guard and current Laker Jordan Farmar, March 5th 2006 , Farmars sophmore season.  We didnt know it at the time, but it would be Farmar’s last game ever at Pauley Pavillion as UCLA went on that late season run all the way to the Finals before falling to Florida.  Farmar is also the godson of former Dodger Eric Davis.

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Even Blue is caught up in March Madness !!!  Oh I love this time of year…. Go Dodgers !!!  UCLA FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT !!!

Spring Madness Is In the Air

As a sports fan, i’m really enjouing this time of year.  In 2 days, the Dodgers depart Camelback Ranch for Australia to kick off the Opening Series with the DBacks. ( Isn’t it strange they wrap up the ST at Camelback before St. Patricks Day ? ) 

I was so fortunate to finally experience ST.  It’s something every baseball fan should experience.  If you’re fortunate to have a week off to do it, you may want to visit various stadiums in the area.

OK.  How many of you are still in Glendale ?  If you are and have time to kill before heading back to L.A., you may want to check out this statue of former Arizona Cardinal , Pat Tillman.

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Paying respect to a fallen hero….

So, who else is enjoying this time of year ?  You know, Spring Training, March Madness.  Or as i’ve done, combined the two to make…. Spring Madness !!! 

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Jordan Adams, cutting down the nets in Las Vegas after the UCLA Bruins took down the 4th ranked Arizona Wildcats in the Pac 12 Championship game, 75-71.  Adams would nail a 3 with over 30 seconds left to break a 68-68 tie.   Now that UCLA has won the Pac 12 tourney , hopefully they will get a favorable seed and carry that momentum over to the tournament. 

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Joe Bruin getting in the spirit of things.  Joe’s also ready for some Dodger Baseball !!!  It’s been a good year for both the football and basketball teams in Westwood !!!

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It’s sure feels great being a sports fan this time of year in L.A. , right Joe ?

And finally….

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“Spring Madness” has officially begun !!!

Blue Getting Ready for March Madness…

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You all didnt think that Blue has all his focus on Spring Training did you ?  Blue is also a huge college basketball fan as well !!!  With March Madness officially starting next week , tonight, Blue decided to take a stroll down Wooden Way inside UCLA’s Pauley Pavillion and pay tribute to the Wizard of Westwood, the man responsible for 10 of UCLA’s 11 National Championships.  I would be around for the 11th, though technically I could say I was also around for the 10th, even if I was only 7 months old when it happened in March of 1975.  Oh, the madness….