Yes, I realize that the NCAA basketball tournaments are not officially over, but the ride has ended for my favorites; the Purdue men's and women's teams.
It was a very good season for both, with the teams achieving a level of success that I did not think possible just a few months ago. However, it's always tough when your hopes for even greater success are dashed.
The Purdue men's team was placed in the West Region, playing their first and second round games in Washington DC. Very close to home for this Purdue fan! I worked through the Purdue athletic ticket office to obtain two seats for the games. Unable to attend the Thursday games because of work obligations, we made them available to some good friends. Fortunately, Purdue beat Baylor, allowing us to make plans for viewing Saturday's game, live at the Verizon Center.
Early Saturday, my son and I trekked to downtown DC to attend the Purdue pep rally at the Penn Quarter Tavern. That finished-up in time for us to enjoy a light lunch and a leisurely stroll to the arena. After picking-up our tickets at the will-call window, we were thrilled to find our seats even with the top of the key and about twelve rows from the floor. Perfect!
After a great start to the day, it kind of went down hill from there. Our cheering for Duke in the first game went for naught as they fell to the Mountaineers of West Virginia. Then, after a clash with Xavier, the Purdue team suffered a tough defeat. My little buddy was a bit teary-eyed watching his beloved Boilermakers drop out of the Tournament, but he has great hopes for the team to come back stronger next year as this squad only loses one player to graduation.
Now we're ready to start getting reports from spring football practice!