Spree pundits opine on the local
Mar 22, 2010
01:32 PMState of Play
A Madness to remember for Buffalo
I'm thinking that this weekend's NCAA Tourney games probably constitute basketball's finest hour in Buffalo. For two days—three if you count the day in the middle—the city ate, slept, and breathed the game, and here's the shocker: the games actually warranted the hype.
Okay, so as a non-Syracuse fan, yesterday's thrashing of Gonzaga may have been a bore; I actually thought the Zags would make it a close game ... then changed my mind when 'Cuse went ahead by, say, twenty. And there were other, better games to be found yesterday, especially Cornell's stunning victory. (Cornell vs. Kentucky in Syracuse? Might be worth the drive, and the crazy scalper prices.)
But the other games were pretty tight, and it only took a brief look around the city to see that people everywhere were panting with anticipation for these games, and that includes downtown restaurant and bar owners.
How nice would it be if this level of enthusiasm carries forward to UB, Niagara, etc.? True, none had a particularly memorable season. But perhaps this weekend will serve as a reminder to Sabres and Bills fans that hoops—especially in the college ranks—can be every bit as gripping as hockey or football.
Congrats to the tourney organizers and all who attended the games—too bad we can't have NCAA March Madness games every year ...