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My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.

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Entries in Basketball (3)

Saturday
Apr122014

Three Teams in Nine Days

Frank has been an avid sports fan ever since he was a young little guy. His very first love was Detroit Tigers baseball with University of Michigan football and basketball being added to his list of favorites shortly thereafter. By middle school he was avidly following the teams and has ever since. This year through a freak alignment of schedules we got to see all three of Frank's favorite teams in a nine day span at the end of March and beginning of April.

The streak began with a trip down to Indianapolis to the Midwest Regional of the NCAA Basketball Tournament to see Michigan play Tennessee. We took Friday afternoon off work and drove to Indianapolis getting there a few hours before the game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

We had nosebleed seats for the game but couldn't care less as long as we were there. Michigan was soundly beating Tennessee in the first half but in the second half Tennessee mounted quite an amazing comeback that had us on the edge of our seats. Thankfully, in the end Michigan held them off to win the game 73-71 and advance to the next round of the tournament.

Two days later we were walking to Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the Michigan-Kentucky game when we were stopped by a fellow Michigan fan. He had a pair of extra tickets that he got from work so he didn't feel right selling them but wanted to give them to another Michigan fan. The tickets were in the sixteenth row in the corner and we were excited to have such luck.

The game was really amazing with every possession quite exciting as the teams battled it out. The game was tied 72-72 near the end of regulation but Kentucky made a three with only 2.6 seconds left on the clock. Michigan made a heroic effort at a final play but when the clock ran out Kentucky won 75-72.

Although we were sad about the Michigan not making the Final Four we didn't mourn the loss too long. We drove back to Ann Arbor from Indianapolis on Sunday night after game and took the day off from work on Monday to see the Tigers play the Royals on opening day at Comerica Park with our friends, Tarek and Haneen.

We headed downtown early to hang out and get chicken shawarmas at Budapest Grill before the game. It was a beautiful day after the long winter and the game was great. Victor Martinez hit a home run in his very first at bat of the season. At the bottom of the ninth the game was tied 3-3 when Alex Gonzalez hit a walk off single for the Tigers to win the game 4-3. It was a fun way to kick off the baseball season. 

On Saturday it was time for the Michigan football spring game where fans can go to Michigan Stadium to watch the team practice and scrimmage. For Frank this means an excuse to have a spring tailgate and we had a small tailgate before the game. Frank also decided that this meant he needed another grill (a small traveling grill) which now brings our grill count up to five. Doesn't every family need a 2.5 grill per capita ratio?

The game itself wasn't terribly exciting but it was fun to catch up with the other tailgaters and hang out in the sun in the stands of Michigan Stadium. Spring has barely begun but Frank is ready for the fall and football season already.

All in all Frank was like a kid in a candy store seeing all of his team play this spring. He is all set for the Tigers to have a great summer and win the World Series followed by having Michigan football win the Big Ten this fall. I hope he is right!

Monday
Apr082013

Final Four!

Frank has been saying all tournament that if Michigan made it to the Final Four we were heading to Atlanta to watch the games in person. We watched the Florida game almost in disbelief as Michigan steamrolled them, putting in the bench for the end of the game. Within minutes Frank was looking for tickets online while I watched the Duke vs. Louisville game. I was hoping that both our teams would make it to the Final Four but sadly my Blue Devils lost.

Right after work on Friday we loaded up the car (decorated with a few Michigan magnets, of course) and headed South stopping in Knoxville for the night before arriving in Atlanta at noon on Saturday. Frank drove the whole way and I was a lousy company since out of those eighteen hours I probably slept fifteen. I really appreciate Frank letting me sleep. I definitely needed the rest and it went a long way to helping me finally get rid of this lingering cold.

After getting to Atlanta we relaxed a bit, had an awesome late lunch at Flip Burger and headed to the Georgia Dome.

We walked around a bit and headed to Centennial Park to check out the celebrations.

There was a huge concert venue set up for the fans in town and we walked around and listened to Flo Rida for a while before heading back to the Georgia Dome for the game.

Our seats were in a really cool spot in the lower bowl behind one of the baskets and off to the side a bit. Although it wasn't always the best for seeing the game sometimes we were down low and relatively close which was nice. We also were right near where CBS was taping the Final Four show which was cool to see.

The first game was the Louisville Cardinals vs. the Wichita State Shockers. We watched the first ten minutes of the game and then did a lap around the concourse coming back to our seats just before halftime with the score pretty even.

At half time they played Christian Laettner's shot to win the Kentucky game in the 1992 NCAA tournament and then gave him an award. My Duke pride came out a bit watching the clip, I have to say...

Part way through the second half of the game we spotted the Michigan team watching the game off to the side.

The Shockers pulled out ahead of Louisville and were up by eleven at one point, seeming to have the game in hand. Louisville was not going to go down easily and rallied to end up winning the game.

We had forty minutes between the games and watched the teams warming up while the Final Four show for CBS was being taped.

Lucky for us the Wolverines entered for the game in a burst of smoke from just off to the left of where we were sitting. After being relaxed for the first game we were pretty amped up.

The game was a defensive struggle but Michigan built up a little lead over Syracuse going into the half.

In the second half Syracuse started chipping away at the lead and the last few minutes were pretty tense as it looked like Michigan might blow the game but it all worked out.
At the end of the game Frank and I ended up on TV a few times over the shoulder of the Michigan players while they were shooting free throws.

It was so exciting for Michigan to win and Frank just stood there in amazement about the fact the Michigan was heading to the title game to play for the National Championship.

We lingered for a bit soaking in the atmosphere and listening to John Beilein and Mitch McGary get interviewed.

It's been an exciting ride and I can't wait for the game tonight! Go Blue!

Saturday
Mar302013

March Madness

March has not been the best month for me. Halfway through our vacation in Cartagena at the beginning of the month I got really sick. I was laid out for a day and then could only go out for a few hours at a time before I needed a rest. It was really frustrating but on the positive side it did force me to have a relaxing vacation, which is not something that I am exactly known for.

It took about two weeks for me to start feeling better and then I got hit with a terrible cold that I am just now starting to get over. Feeling under the weather for the past three weeks has been really frustrating because going to work has taken everything out of me so all of my energy is gone by the time I get home. As a result I have done very little outside of work with one notable exception; Frank and I went to the first two Michigan games in the NCAA Tournament last weekend.

Let me back up a bit and say that I love the NCAA Tournament. I went to Duke for undergrad and it is just about impossible to graduate without becoming a fan of college basketball. To me college basketball is so much more fun to watch than professional and nothing is better than the NCAA Tournament. Every year there is so much excitement: great match-ups, Cinderella stories, upsets and players leaving everything they have on the court.

After the bracket comes out on selection Sunday I always fill out my bracket in the same method every year. First, I fill in Duke to win all of their match-ups culminating in the National Championship. I have never filled out a bracket without having Duke win it all, no matter how their season is going. It just seems like it would be traitorous so I go with my heart.

Once I put Duke all the way through I go back and fill in the rest of my bracket, making sure to pick at least one 5-12 upset. This year I picked two, Oregon (because I think they were totally underrated as a 12 seed) and UC Berkeley (because I went there for grad school so I am a little biased). Overall, my bracket so far is not doing so hot as I overestimated Indiana and New Mexico. The best I can do in the pool I am in at this point is fourth if Duke wins it all, Michigan makes it to the Final Four and Ohio State loses tonight. Here's where my bracket stands after the Elite Eight.

This year Duke was playing their first two games in Philadelphia, but Michigan was playing only an hour away from Ann Arbor. Frank has loved Michigan basketball since he was a little kid and I've adopted them as my second favorite team (after Duke!) so it was a no brainer for us to go to the games.

The first game on Thursday night was against South Dakota State and although Michigan won, they weren't playing their best basketball so we were a little worried about the next game on Saturday against VCU. Michigan played one of their best games of the year on Saturday and ended up blowing out VCU to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. It was really fun to be at the game, especially since this was Michigan's first Sweet Sixteen berth since 1994.

Meanwhile, Duke played on Friday and Sunday, handily beating Albany and Creighton to also advance to the Sweet Sixteen. We have casual Friday at work so I dug up one of my old Duke basketball shirts from my undergrad days to wear for good luck and it seemed to have worked.

In the next round, Michigan was in Arlington but Duke was only a five hour drive away in Indianapolis. We had Friday off from work so we debated going to see Duke play, but still feeling ill I wasn't up to the drive so we just stayed home this weekend and watched the games on TV.

On Friday night Michigan played Kansas first and it was quite a game. Kansas was pretty dominant for most of the game. With 2:19 left in the game Michigan was down by 10 points and a loss looked certain. Michigan went on a tear at this point and Trey Burke hit a three pointer to tie up the game with only a few seconds left on the clock which drove the game into overtime. Michigan dominated overtime and pulled out a win to make it to the Elite Eight. It was a heart pounding game and so much fun to watch.

Duke then played Michigan State with the game being pretty even throughout the first half. At the beginning of the second half Duke pulled away and never let up, winning the game by ten. It was not the most exciting game, but after nearly having a heart attack watching the Michigan game I was glad to just sit back and enjoy my Blue Devils win.

 

I'm so happy that both my teams made it to the Elite Eight. Here's hoping that they both move on to the Final Four with wins tomorrow (and that I am feeling better soon)!