Somewhere amidst the blur that is any Vegas trip I received an email from Ticketmaster. The subject line of this email read, “Review Your Event: Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.”
OK. I will.
Wow, Ticketmaster drawing the big guns early. Five stars. A year in the making, the move to Vegas came with great anticipation and lived up to the hype.
Yes. Resoundingly so.
Doesn’t matter. Look at the example. Can’t top that title.
You know how awesome it is when you anticipate something will be terrific and then it is? This wasn’t The Hangover 2, this was The Dark Knight. For a year we’d discussed the excitement of this event and then boom it delivered. The conference has rediscovered itself and just in time (well, at least not in the eyes of the committee with regards to seeding) to make an inaugural splash.
The MGM was accessible and the arena was big enough to house a crowd and quaint enough to get rowdy. Vegas itself is accessible and allowed me to attend this event with a whole lot of friends and enemies.
Particularly I liked the blackout curtains (so Vegas) on the side of the gym sans upper seating. It provided an ominous and dramatic backdrop to the play unfolding below.
Of course not as if this thing needed any additional drama. Day 1 saw games decided by 11 total points. Day 2 saw two overtimes. Day three provided this. And whatever the outcome, a championship is always a blast. Vegas crushed it. The competition crushed it. Frankly, Oregon crushed it. And again, kudos to Johnathan Loyd (MVP).
I bought beers that were more expensive than my ticket (12/12/12); I watched Huskies go nuts over a buzzer beating cover despite a team loss; I waltzed into session 5 with Pat Riley; I interestingly placed no wagers on Pac-12 games; I ran into college friends and blogosphere friends and watched a man pay $20 to kick another man in the groin (prior to midnight); I listened/participated as “U of A” chants drowned out the support of others (then watched/participated as sorrows were drowned); I saw a lot of red that didn’t always have a block A on it (Utah travelled); I made my flight home.
My lone complaint would be that putting the conference title game on at 8pm goes a long way in ensuring your conference gets minimal exposure. That’s 11pm EST and does it come as any surprise that Oregon – the winner of this tournament – was the most hosed on Selection Sunday? The tournament was brought to Vegas to get more people to see it. Let’s make sure that continues to happen.
Great question Ticketmaster. This one’s hard to pick and I loved the Sean Miller press conference. I won’t pick it as my favorite, however, because I’m not entirely sure I want to celebrate it. I will say that I’ve watched it many times and appreciate the way he goes to bat for Solomon Hill and wears the game.
But my favorite – and I’m going to get a little Field of Dreams-y on you here – was watching the Oregon-Washington game. This back-and-forth battle stands alone on its own merits as a terrific basketball contest. But it stands out to me because it wasn’t nearly a capacity audience as we managed to sit comfortably spread out in really whichever seats we wanted. And I got to do that next to my Dad. The rest of our party had chose dinner over the first half and in my blind loyalty to this conference I knew I wanted to see these heated rivals square off in a Pac-12 quarterfinal. So my dad joined me and we sat, like I said, comfortably and wherever we liked. Just father and son. Me and pops.
I did not sit there.
5 stars particularly if we’re considering the value of the seats. I had tickets to eleven basketball games (4 tickets to the championship) and spent roughly the same amount that I paid to get into Pauley on 3/2.
I would recommend these seats. They’re ambulatory.
They were turquoise and did this really weird adjusty thing where they’d slide back – a light recline, if you will – as you dropped the actual sitting fold into its sit-able position. This reminded me of one of those advancements you find in dated cars that seemed really tight at the moment but over time and with gained perspective you’re like does this actually serve any serviceable function? I have the feeling that kick-under-your-car-to-open-the-trunk thing is the next of these auto-creations. But yeah, the seats were turquoise.
You’re asking me to upload video from a 3-day trip to Las Vegas, Nevada? Screw you.