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Game on (again)

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It's been 10 long years, and I couldn't be more proud.

And, in full disclosure, I wasn't there to see it this time. (My two oldest perused Broadway in Nashville in my absence.)

Yeah, I missed UC's tournament games to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
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Conflicted by two of my major interests in life, I chose the E Street Shuffle.  In all fairness though, when I bought the tickets to go to Atlanta and Greensboro, there were no assurances UC would be in the tournament and if I could have predicted such I would be on CBS or ESPN.

I also had to coach my sixth-grader on that Saturday, so it just wasn't in the cards for me to go to Music City.

Fortunately, Music City was in the cards for the Bearcats as Mick Cronin and company hooked the 'Horns and tomahawked the 'Noles.

I enjoyed the Friday afternoon off watching UC torment Texas. Sunday, Mr. Springsteen was kind enough to end his final encore at Philips Arena in Atlanta quick enough for me to go to an establishment next door and watch the second half (among some rowdy Seminole fans).

In the end, my red UC hat was being noticed, as were my C-Paw shirts I packed.  I was being congratulated for a game that I had nothing to do with, but it felt good for fans in the Southland to "recognize the C" again.

I even ate some barbecue in Greensboro, across from ACC headquarters, where I was tempted to find some spray paint to add a "UC" to the FSU Chief Osceola logo.  Fueled by a couple of sweet teas, I even thought about storming in and asking them how they figured Syracuse and Pitt fit in with their league, but my wife instructed me to mind my manners.

All I can say, is Dion Dixon's steal and lay-up that put the Bearcats up two in the final minutes is as memorable a play now as the "Fletch to Kenyon to Melvin" dunk against Duke, or the DerMarr Johnson bucket in the improbable win over DePaul years ago.

Instant classic.

10 years ago, I was in San Diego as UC made it's last Sweet 16.  They beat BYU and then Kent State to earn the right to play Stanford and Casey Jacobson in Anaheim.  Somewhere in between, one of our JUCO forwards (Antwan Jones) went AWOL in San Diego, and I don't think anyone's heard from him since.

That was a different time. This is a new time.

Ditto for the game against Ohio State.  In the first year under head coach Mick Cronin, the Buckeyes were gracious enough to give us a game when they had Greg Oden and a squad full of NBA players.  Not surprisingly, with the likes of  "Hurricane" Ron Allen and future Houston Texan Connor Barwin guarding Oden, UC was thumped. (On the upside, Barwin made Sports Illustrated with a picture of him guarding the oldest-looking college student since Granville Waiters.)
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(Thanks to Associated Press/Rivals/Yahoo)

Before that, Ohio State had successfully ducked UC since losing to them in back-to-back years for the NCAA championship.

That was a different time.  This is a new time.

There's no backing down or buying out now.

Game on (again).

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