As we look back on the 2007-08 season, let us treasure a record-breaking 28 wins. We will long remember the NCAA Tournament and the thrilling 59-55 win over Syracuse in the opening round. So let us relive the team, the band, and the cheerleaders on that warm, splendid Louisiana afternoon.
The team arrived back on campus at 2:30 p.m. today to a rousing welcome from the University community. Though a tenacious Texas A&M defense ended Hartford's season one game short of the Sweet 16 last night, the memories of the past year will last a very long time. Please feel free to use the comments link to offer your thoughts and comments on a record-breaking 28-win season.
A little cooler in Baton Rouge again, still with sunny skies, but temps limited to the mid 60s. Well, the time has almost come for the second-round game against Texas A&M. It will tip off 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game of the night at the Maravich Assembly Center between Marist and LSU (7:17 p.m. EDT tip). Figure on a start time between 9:40 and 10 p.m. EDT for the Hawks and Aggies.
The WWUH radio broadcast begins at 9 p.m. with an expanded pre-game show and can be heard for free from anywhere in the world at wwuh.org. Now if only TV was so simple.
Most of the nation will see parts of the game as part of ESPN2's national "whip-around" coverage that features action from all games taking place at the time. However, the game will be seen IN ITS ENTIRETY on campus (Channel 51) and on Connecticut cable television systems (ESPN2). Note that if you subscribe to high-definition TV, the game will not be on ESPN2 HD, only on the standard-definition channel.
The game will also be shown throughout the state of Texas. A coverage map is attached to this post.
Satellite TV subscribers will find the game on alternate ESPN channels 213 (Direct TV) and 146 (Dish Network).
Get a little rest in this afternoon. It will be a late night. Go Hawks.
The LSU campus has many interesting sites, but none more conversational than Mike the Tiger. Now, every now and then you'll see a real Hawk flying through the University of Hartford campus. But it's a little different seeing a two-year old Siberian-Bengal mix male currently weighing over 300 pounds "welcoming" visitors.
In 2005, a new $3 million habitat was created for Mike. The Tiger Athletic Foundation raised funds, entirely from private sources, to subsidize the construction project. The habitat features state-of-the-art technologies and includes among its amenities lush plantings, a waterfall, a flowing stream that empties into a wading pond, and rocky plateaus. The new habitat ranks among the largest and finest Tiger preserves in the country and expanded Mike's home from 2,000 to 15,000 square feet.
By the way, Mike VI (the fifth Mike died in 2007) is quickly showing he runs things differently. Apparently, a small dog was being walked near Mike's surroundings recently and he had a reaction that had not been seen before. Very quickly, signs now are plastered in the area warning people not to bring other animals in the vicinity.
Fans in Connecticut can join us through the power of technology in seeing what Mike the Tiger is up to at this very moment through the Tiger Cam.
It's the day between games and unlike Thanksgiving Day in Hawaii, it somewhat feels like a holiday around Baton Rouge. The team was able to relax a bit this morning before heading off to a practice on the Maravich Center court shortly after noontime. Dinner will be at 6 p.m.
The Hartford-Texas A&M game Monday night will be the second half of the doubleheader in Baton Rouge, with a start time of approximately 9:30 p.m. EDT.
The band and cheerleaders continue to make it a spirited scene around the hotel. It's nice to see so many familiar faces. Pictured above was the scene outside of the Embassy Suites just before the Hawks made their way to the bus for yesterday's game.
The hotel has plenty of activity, with Marist women's basketball and Arkansas baseball also staying here. If you hit the breakfast buffet at the wrong time, moving around is a challenge and finding a seat can be harder. Yet the two mid-major women's basketball schools, Marist and Hartford, are plenty glad they're still here searching for those empty tables.
What an emotional, hard-fought game. The Hawks victory was their second NCAA Tournament win ever and set a school record for victories with 28. Now it's on to the Round of 32 and a matchup with second-seeded Texas A&M on Monday evening. The team headed back to the hotel after the game, got about 45 minutes to unwind, and then headed off to dinner at a local restaurant known for its ribs. The large group, including University President Walter Harrison and officials from the America East Conference, erupted every time the big screen showed highlights from the Hawks' win. Some players went back to the Pete Maravich Center to watch the two night games, while others went back to the hotel. The Hawks will sleep well tonight. Thanks for all your comments. Please keep them coming. Happy Easter.
It's here. This afternoon, the Hawks tip off against Syracuse. Catch all the action live from anywhere in the world at wwuh.org (91.3 FM on the radio locally) beginning at 2 p.m. EDT. Tip-off will be 30 minutes following the first game in Baton Rouge between Texas A&M and Texas-San Antonio. That would most likely mean a tip time in the neighborhood of 2:20 or 2:25 EDT but the window probably stretches from 2:15 (quick first game) to 2:45 (longer opener).
On the TV side, a map is included above. Most of the nation will be part of ESPN2's "whip-around" coverage, which shows parts of games all across the country. However, viewers in Connecticut and the Syracuse area will be treated to tip-to-buzzer coverage of the Hawks and Syracuse on ESPN2 (for traditional cable subscribers on ESPN2's standard-definition channel).
We saw the 13,500-seat Pete Maravich Center for the first time this afternoon as each of the teams went through the customary media session and 50-minute open practice. Besides Syracuse, Marist is also playing in Baton Rouge, so three teams from the Northeast are enjoying this advance preview of warm spring weather.
Following the festivities at the larger arena, it was off to a traditional practice at one of LSU's on-campus recreational facilities. A nice Friday evening dinner and a good night's rest will show the way to Saturday.
Have any questions for the radio pre-game show for Hawks head coach Jen Rizzotti? Ask them here and we'll select one or two to ask on air. Air time will be 2 p.m. at 91.3 FM and worldwide on the Internet at wwuh.org.
For Katie Kelley, who is from Syracuse, meeting the Orange in the NCAA Tournament has special meaning. Here is a clip from the Hawks' gathering with the press this afternoon when Hartford's junior forward was asked about what the game meant to her.
A beautiful day in Baton Rouge. Last night, the entire group went to dine at a Cajun restaurant where the fare included alligator tails and frog legs (and yes to you doubters, even I sampled some gators in both fried and grilled versions). Today, the team went to walk beside the Mississippi River for an hour this morning with several museums lining the way. Included was the USS Kidd (DD-661), a Fletcher-class destroyer. It was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who died on the bridge of his flagship USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Admiral Kidd was the first flag officer to die during World War II.
It's on to the arena and the team's media session and practice this afternoon.
Now my only prior experience with a charter flight was in the mid 1990s when I squeezed into a small nine-seater for a bumpy ride in the night (back-to-back nights to be exact) to and from Orono, Maine. I still remember the automated mesage blaring "flying too low, flying too low, flying too low" as we landing at 2 a.m. that morning long ago. The pilot's response to a bunch of terrified faces after we landed: "Oh don't worry, It always does that."
Well my opinions of charter flights has changed as of today. Whisked by bus from campus to a quiet area adjacent to the main portion of Bradley Airport, the entire Hawks traveling group (including band, cheerleaders, players, coaches, administrators) arrived in two different stages around 9 a.m. The bags were automatically loaded from bus to plane, so the first benefit was apparent: no bothering with luggage. After individual security checks, each individual walked right onto the plane. Much to my delight, this was a regular Delta aircraft, just like I'd step onto traveling commercially. But this plane had no strangers. It was all Hartford.
The New York City-based flight crew was friendly and accommodating. Taking a step back in time, we actually were offered food and beverages on the plane continuously.The flight of just over three hours landed about 12:10 Central Time. Buses arrived to transport us to the Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge.
Weather, you ask? Sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70s are forecast for tomorrow and that all important day, Saturday. The team is practicing this afternoon and will go to dinner at a local restaurant later on. The fun starts tomorrow with the official NCAA Press Conference and on-site practice that each team here takes part in.
By the way, back to the plane for a second. Advice to Danielle Hood...don't quit your day job.