The Meadowlands, March 25, 2006 - The Meadowlands are only about 8 miles from Midtown Manhattan, yet by some astounding oversight, there isn't a train or subway to get you there. And it's actually closer to my house than work is (17 miles versus 28 miles), but with Manhattan right in the way, they may as well be on another planet. Still, when your wife gets free tickets to the NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Finals, you get in your car and go.
The game was #1 seed North Carolina versus #2 seed Georgetown, with the winner going to the Final Four. We gave ourselves what we thought was plenty of time, but the traffic through the Lincoln Tunnel was beyond even our worst expectations. We completely missed the first half because it took us two painful hours and twenty painful minutes to go the painful 17 miles. If I were up to running 17 miles, and if they would have let me run through the tunnel, I could have run faster than that.
Thankfully, we made it to our seats a few minutes before the second half started, and what fantastic seats they were: center court, four rows up. Sweet! What we saw of the game was pretty exciting, too. Georgetown was down by ten with seven minutes left, and managed to tie the game 81-81 at the end of regulation. Then they completely walloped North Carolina in overtime, scoring 14 unanswered points right away to walk away with the game.
We were rooting for Georgetown mostly because we both had picked them in our NCAA pool. And for me, their win meant I picked the Final Four perfectly, which I had never done before in years of trying. Unfortunately, so did someone else in my office pool, so I can't possibly win! Darn. Anyway, another reason to root for Georgetown was that their coach (John Thompson III) is a fellow Princeton grad and a former Princeton coach. So good for him. And now Princeton could really use him back.
So we're happy we made it to the game. And happily, it only took us an hour to get back...
(PS - Click here for photos from the game.)