My Trip to the Sweet 16
Last weekend, my dad and I went to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games here in Memphis for the NCAA South Regional! It was a bucket-list experience that I’d been looking forward to for a long time. As a Tigers season ticket holder, I got an advance offer for a special tournament package last fall. I forwarded it to my dad, asking if he was interested. He said “Let’s do it,” but it was expensive and I kept hedging. A month later they sent the offer again, and I forwarded it to my dad again, and he replied, “GET THE TICKETS!” So I did. As it turned out, it was a steal compared to what I heard they were going for the week of the event… and totally worth it. My main motivation had been that if the Tigers did advance to those games, and I wasn’t there, I’d never get over missing it. I didn’t find out until a couple of weeks ago that per NCAA rules, no tournament team can play at its home, so it wouldn’t have happened anyway. Oh well!
On Thursday night at the Sweet 16 games, the Dayton Flyers were the stars of the show. If you haven’t been following, Dayton was the Cinderella this year. They beat Ohio State and Syracuse. I had never HEARD of them before this and still don’t even know what conference they’re in, but I was duly impressed by the the team and the fans. Everyone I met was so nice (also: TONS of cute guys, maybe they’re all in Ohio!), and they had such enthusiasm and spirit. They packed out the Forum like it was their home game. Even though I have Florida winning it all in my bracket, in my heart I kind of wanted Dayton to win!! And they did beat Stanford that night.
I was perplexed by Stanford’s mascot, a giant Christmas tree with a face. (Someone on Twitter explained it to me.) Stanford alums Condoleeza Rice and Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman (AKA “Don’t You Ever Talk About Me“) were in attendance, so that was cool. I did not get a photo of them. :)
I was amused by the photographers on the floor. Every time the action came their way, they all picked up their giant lenses in unison and followed the action with the cameras in unison.
In the second game, Florida beat UCLA! I learned to do the Gator Chomp.
We went back to the Forum on Saturday evening for the Elite 8 game, Florida vs. Dayton.
Dayton hung in and have nothing to be ashamed of, but Florida won as expected! We hung around to watch the trophy presentation and net cutting. I remembered the Tigers doing that when we won the C-USA championship at home a few years ago. Someday I WILL see that again.
Even though it wasn’t my team, I had a wonderful time and felt really blessed to be there, like I got to be a part of history. My dad decided that next we need to go to the Final Four. He met a couple who have gone to ALL the big tournament games for 20 years. Can you imagine? Anyway, yay basketball!
About Brenda W.
Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister’s iced tea.View all posts by Brenda W. →
Posted in memphis, sports