I haven’t seen it reported here, but Dalonte hobbled off the court a couple of minutes into the game after landing awkwardly, then threw up on the bench and headed to the locker room. That was all he played. In my pregame writeup I mentioned that the only way we were going to beat Kent was if Brown and Lairy played back to their early season level. Well, with 5 minutes to play in the game neither one had scored. Lairy did get a dozen quick points as we knocked the lead down to 6 with about a minute to go.
Attendance on both Friday and Saturday was around 8,000 by my estimate. It is not what the MAC drew in its early years in Cleveland, but still very high for a mid-major neutral site. The coverage in the Plain Dealer is not what it used to be either, but I guess that is the case with most newspapers today.
While watching the Akron-Buffalo women’s semifinal on Friday, all of a sudden Jermaine Henderson saw me sitting there and came over to talk. We caught up for about 10 minutes as I had not seen him since he left Miami a decade ago. I complimented him on his excellent physical condition as he looked trim and healthy, he has been working out. We discussed his marriage and how he and Colleen were handling a long distance marriage. They don’t know if they are having a boy or a girl. He said that assistant coaches travel so much that even if they were living together they would not see that much of each other.
We did talk about Miami basketball and I mentioned that many of us were still pushing for him to get the job. He said that many of the former players are upset about what has happened to Miami basketball. He would love to get the job IF it opens up again sometime. He asked me what the team needed most for next year and I said a post player.
The other thing is I asked him if he had just got fired that day ( I had read that K-States head coach resigned that morning). Jermaine said that most likely he would be looking for another job as the new coach will probably want his own people. I did mention to him that many of the longtime fans like me still would love to give him a chance to run the program when it opens up.
Either the MAC or the Rocket Mortgage ticket office did not decide to offer a cheap all tournament ticket until Tuesday and we did not actually get our tickets on our phones until about 2 hours before the first game on Wednesday ( we had been trying to get them since January), but it was a great deal, $68 to see 14 college basketball tournament games in an NBA Arena. They also offer all day parking in a parking garage across the street for $10 per day. Our seats were OK, but we never sat in them as we either sat in the lower courtside sections or in the first row of the second level which is a spectacular view. You are looking directly at the Humongatron videoboard which stretches from one foul line to the other and the players look larger than life on it. The Winking Lizard, one of our hangouts between sessions, has been closed for 5 months ( Covid killed their business). We ate at BW’s or the food court at Terminal Tower, which is connected to the Arena by an enclosed walkway.
Toledo had a truly terrible day on Friday. The Men were regular season champions with a 17-3 league record and the Women were 19 and 1 and set a new record for most league wins, but both went down in the semifinals and both ended up in the NIT. There were probably 2,000 UT fans there at both games and they were crushed as they went from roaring and confident to silent and sad.