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Albany's Dancin'

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Unfortunately I was not able to be at the RACC or watch it on ESPN2 since Im at work...but I listened to the radio broadcast and the intensity of the crowd was awesome, despite having to stay up most of the night in Brown Town.


The defense was stifling, and we really exploited the Cat's youth. Jamar took the game over and showed why he was MVP.


Lets go a dancin'.


Please post any word on tix after we see what bracket were in. Im hoping Philly so I can actually go. Would be nice if a bunch of danes fans could meet up before the game or something.


Congrats Albany!!!

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What an impressive win.


As "wide open" as this tournament was the UA team really put on a display. All three double digit wins, and todays final is not an indication of what a rout this was.


The only guy on the floor that could have possibly slowed down Jamar was Lou. Vermont had no answers to that offense today.


Jamar with 29, 8 boards, 4 assist (should have been more), with 1 TO. Unreal.


Now we wait to see where we end up and who we play.


Congrats to the team for an impressive run (so far).

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I have an unanswered question about the game yesterday.


I know that the University was supposed to set up a big screen TV in the old gym to handle the overflow crowd. Does anyone have any idea how many people watched the game there?


Since none of the many articles about the game mentioned the option, I am assuming that not many people were interested in that option.


Fans who made inside the RACC were denied the opportunity to exit the facility and could not verify attendance at the optional site.

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The Day After


Wow, what a day Saturday was. I figured I'd capture a few things, particularly for those who weren't able to be at the RACC for the game. Warning - this is going to be sort of long. Where to begin?


Mrs. S$ and I had gotten "general public" tickets on Tuesday morning and ended up arriving at the RACC around 10:30 on Saturday. We walked up the steps on the Dutch Quad side of the building. "Will Call" was set up outside the entrance, which was a wise move considering the congestion that would have been created in the lobby. The weather happened to be perfect also. When we went in, the far student section was already pretty full, and they were already quite vocal as well. Our ticketed seats were way up in section 550 behind the Vermont bench. We didn't even have Growl Towels waiting for us on our seats. We went in with the intention of sitting in the student section anyway, so my wife went to get some seats in the near student section, which was pretty empty at around 10:45.


While I was waiting in the lobby for my friend Bob and his son, my wife came up behind me and told me an usher told her she had to sit in her assigned section. So my friends show up, and we go to 550 where it is very obvious that we'll be sitting behind a sea of green in our yellow submarine. Mrs. S$, who is sporting a purple paw on one side of her face and "UA" on the other, was having no part of it. She went to the nearest usher and asked, "Is there *any* way we can sit in the Albany section and not in the Vermont section?" The usher pointed to the far student section, which was pretty full and told us we could go there if we could find space. Bonus! At this time, the near student section was still sort of empty but beggars can't be choosers. My wife thanked the usher profusely, and he replied "No problem, I know how it is."


So we make our way down the steps, and all the rows are full when all of a sudden there's a row at the end of which is enough space for four modestly sized people. I asked the guy on the end if the seats were saved. He said no and just waved us in. It seemed that nobody was in their assigned seat anyway, which is what we were hoping for. Double bonus! Now before anybody starts whining that the student section should be just for students, let me just say that we always sit in the student section and more than justify our existence there by the number of decibels we put out during the games. Not to mention the fact that my wife just graduated from UA this past December. Lord knows we paid enough in "intercollegiate athletics fees" anyway.


Before the game, there was the introduction of President Hall and the Vermont president, and as usual, we couldn't understand a word of what they were saying. We turned out backs on the Vermont intros and went bananas for the UA players.


I'll leave most of the game commentary to Steve's blog and the other posters who are better at it anyway. But you couldn't have asked for a better beginning to the game with the two opening-three pointers and a quick double-digit lead. It was the first time I ever felt the bleachers shake at the RACC. Lucious had a great game, and it was good to see him go out in style in his hometown. Jamar was his usual unfathomable self, though I had to cringe at some of his shot selections as we have been much of the year. Another great game by Jamar though. I was hoping K-Zo would get at least one power dunk during the game, and you could tell he wanted it bad; I wished the team got him the ball more. He fumbled a couple of his best opportunities, but he had a solid defensive game, and you had to be happy for the seniors.


With a few minutes to go and a victory in sight, people were starting to make their way down the aisles, including my wife. Once the game was over, I snapped a few pictures then went down on the floor to find her. She shook hands with Will Brown and told him congratulations, to which he replied "We really appreciate you being here." Class all the way. I managed to high-five Levi, Lillis, Siggers, and Iati. We hung around for the trophy presentation, followed by the net-cutting. Zoellner thrust his hands in the air as he made his way up the ladder. First show of joy I've really seen out of him, though my wife said she saw him crack a few smiles right after the game.


The players exited to the locker room, and most of the remaining people left including us. I stopped at the men's room, and when I came out, Mrs. S$ had disappeared back into the gym. Some of the players had come back out, so we went back on the floor. My wife had this "We've got Will Power" sign, so I snapped a photo of her holding it with Damien the Dane. We also got a photo of her with Iati, who was kind enough to oblige. My wife is only 5' tall, so she tends to favor the shorter players. :D


The Across the Street Pub parking lot was packed after the game, but being teetotalers we headed uptown to the Guilderland Friendly's. A lady getting ice cream outside asked us who won, and we saw a guy with one of the free purple tee-shirts inside.


Anyway, that's about it; got to see Will Brown get interviewed on the selection show with those characteristic Sputnik light fixtures in the background of the CC ballroom. Too cool. Here's hoping we give UConn a fight and something to think about for next year. I don't think we'll be able to make the trip to Philly, but I'm glad it's there so more people from Albany can go.




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Just to reiterate what a great day weekend this was. The atmosphere in the RACC on Saturday was electric. We walked in about 11:15 and the student section was already on its feet chanting and singing like European Soccer fans. All in all, one of the best hoop environments you could ask for.


Lets hoop for a competitive game on Friday, but the beginning of the game last Saturday was the signature moment of this season.


Brown was so positive about the recruits during an interview last night, it made you think next year can be even better.

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Although they got some info wrong (umm, we're playing UConn not Duke), collegehoopes.net lists Jamar as one of the Tournament's "Top 10 Under the Radar Players."


"5. Jamar Wilson, University of Albany


When you lead a school to its first ever tournament birth, you're going to get some props. Junior guard Jamar Wilson has done that for the Great Danes, leading them to the America East conference title after only being a Division I program since 1999. The Danes victory ousted Vermont from the drivers seat of the conference, one that they dominated over the last three years. Wilson, the Player of the Year in the conference, led the Danes in scoring at 17.3 ppg and also grabbed 4.9 boards. The 6'1" Bronx prodigy is an up-tempo guard who has solid shooting skills but thrives in the open floor. His ability to score and take over games was shown to the fullest in the title game where he put up 29 and eight. He also posted 20 plus points 14 times this season. Drawing Duke in the first game will certainly be a challenge of mammoth proportions but with Wilson, at least they'll make it competitive and maybe a few highlight reel plays along the way."



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