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Ooh Las Vegas…

March 19, 2016

As I posted in an earlier blog, flights to Los Angeles were cost prohibitive when I tried to book on Monday for Thursday or Friday travel.

The only thing I found that fit my travel budget (+/- $1200) was a Frontier flight to Las Vegas followed by a 4-hour car ride to Westwood.  

I actually considered spending the first night in Vegas and then driving on Saturday to LA.  Of course my biggest concern was getting stuck on the black jack table and then sticking around to bet the Round of 32 games.  Which probably would have threatened my arrival by the start of the CSU-USF game in Pauley.

Speaking of Pauley, I have never been there.  And while I had wished that CSU got placed in Tempe, I’ll get to see the building where John Wooden did all of his magic.  I saw my first game in The Palestra. I’ve seen games in Madison Suare Garden. I attended Duke when the basketball arena was simply called Indoor Stdium as opposed to Cameron Indoor.  I had a trip to Baton Rouge once and stopped at the Maravich Assembly Center at LSU.  Maravich was my hero and I had to see his building (I’ve also seen a movie in the theater where Pistol Pete  used to dribble a ball while watching when he was in the 4th grade).

I’ll be able to close my eyes and see Wooden’s national championship teams. The 1964 team with a guard from Philly named Walt Hazzard. The 65 team with Gail Goodrich.  The Lew Alcindor teams from 67-69. The 70 and 71 teams with guys like Steve Patterson, Curtis Rowe, and Sidney Wicks. The Bill Walton & Keith Wilkes teams that won in 72.and 73 and lost in the 4 semi to NC State.

All of them were fantastic teams that executed on both ends of the floor better than anyone in the history of the game.

I’m a lucky man. I get to watch a great team on Saturday on the biggest stage in one of the all-time great venues.

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