Bernstein Blog- C-USA Tourney Edition - Day 5

Our final day at the Conference USA Tournament in Memphis

7:45- Rise n'shine, it's game day. I finish packing, check email, then drop my luggage off at the bell station at the hotel. Hopefully it will be there when I get back from the game.

9:00- I arrive at the Fed Ex Forum. They're having a breakfast buffet, so that's cool.

9:45- I get down to the court. Same location as yesterday. I talk to Antonio Anderson during shoot around. He seems focused. I think Memphis wins in a blowout today, number one seed is on the line.

10:23- National anthem has played; teams are back in the locker room. We're about to get started.

10:29- The building has gone dark, and there's giant flames coming from the baskets. Crazy pyrotechnics.

10:30- This is one of the loudest arenas I've ever been in.

10:33- Thunderstruck by AC/DC is playing. Not sure what the Tigers have to do with thunder, but the crowd really seems to enjoy it.

10:35- Let's get it on for the final time in Memphis! Tulsa's Jerome Jordan wins the tip and we're underway.

10:41- It's deafening in here, Donneal Mack just hit a three to put Memphis up 8-0.

10:53- I notice a sign in the crowd that reads "just like FEMA, we're cleaning up the hurricanes!" It's always good to bring a natural disaster into play when heckling an opponent.

11:02- Tulsa has settled down a bit, but they're still down nine points. Every shot is being contested.

11:10- Tulsa has some fight in them. They just cut the Memphis lead to four points with a nice left hand runner by Ray Reese.

11:16- It's really cold in the arena.

11:33- Halftime score: Memphis 28, Tulsa 20. Tulsa should be very happy with where they are. It's a low scoring, sloppy type of game.

11:35- They brought about 100 kids on the court to play various types of drums. On their way out they stopped by us and were playing. It was so loud that I offered one of the kids $20 to stop playing.

11:40- I was just handed an all-tournament team and an MVP ballot. This will be difficult.

11:47- Tyreke Evans has scored five straight to start the second half. This just in—he's pretty good.

11:52- Tulsa is hanging, down 12. I have Delaney (UAB), Beasley (So. Miss), Evans (Memphis), and Taggert (Memphis) on my all tournament team. There's one spot left and I'd like to put a Tulsa guy on it. I'll wait to see who steps up.

12:02- The Golden Hurricane are playing tough, they just can't score in bunches and there's no way they can make up a 16 point deficit in just 10 minutes.

12:07- There's a foul on Pierre Henderson-Niles. I believe the officials are biased against fat people. I think it's due to the media objectifying models and beautiful people like myself.

12:10- Memphis is on a 9-0 run, BALL-GAME!

12:19- Memphis is emptying the bench up 61-33

12:27- 12th man Preston Laird is in the game for Memphis to the crowd's utter delight. It will be a perfect game if they can somehow get Laird a basket.

12:29- Game over, 64-39; I'm getting pelted with streamers.

12:31- There's a celebration on the court, but probably not as big as the one they will have in a few weeks.

12:37- They are dropping a banner with Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier, and Chance McGrady commemorating the most wins in NCAA history (135 and counting).

12:43- The team is cutting down the nets. They seem to do this here every year.

1:32- Post-game press conferences are over, everyone talked about how great Memphis is. They're right. I'm in the media workroom waiting for some papers then I'll try to get back to my hotel.

1:57- Done with everything, it's probably time to head back to the hotel and hope my bags are still in their possession. I still have plenty of time to kill, as my flight leaves at 7:06 p.m.

2:01- I hear a basketball bouncing. I'm going to shoot around a bit.

2:13- It's official, I can no longer ball. I'm going to turn all my athletic efforts toward ping-pong.

2:25- I hit up another BBQ joint on Beale Street. There's a fat, black guy singing Jason Mraz. Weirdly enough, he sounds really good.

2:40- Food is here, excellent as almost everything else I've eaten here. I may just shoot back up here for the South Regionals.

3:00- I've walked to the corner of Beale and Main, and I just missed the trolley. There won't be another one for about 15 minutes, so I have a decision to make-do I wait in the cold or do I walk in the cold?

3:25- I've opted to try and walk off my lunch. I made it to the Marriott after a stop at Walgreens and I have a feeling of accomplishment. I also have a feeling of pain in my feet and knees. Getting old sucks. Kids, I wouldn't recommend it.

3:35- I change my shirt and now all I can do is wait. It's either wait here at the hotel or wait at the airport. I'm opting for the hotel. Less sick people.

4:19- Still waiting. There's a group of Chinese businessmen sitting across from me and they are looking at me like I'm a moron. I guess I give off that vibe.

4:43- I'm about to head for the airport and the blog is officially done unless something crazy happens (which is certainly a possibility). Thanks for joining me and I'll see you on my next journey.


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