As you may or may not know, I have been picked to compete against bloggers from all 16 schools of the BIG EAST in a season long contest to win a Volvo S60. Part of it is the fan poll (if you haven’t already, please cast a vote for yours truly!), while the other piece consists of challenge posts throughout the entire season. Here is the next challenge.
The theme for the next challenge is “What are your picks for the top three road trips in the Big East”. I’ve been to most of the big cities at some point (Chicago, Louisville, Philly, Washington DC, Pittsburgh) but never really centered around attending a BIG EAST basketball game. I decided to take a different angle to answering this question, and not focus on the bars or attractions of the particular college areas in the present time. You see, road wins are the key to having a successful season in BIG EAST play, and it hasn’t been exactly too kind to Friartown in recent years. However, there are some great games in Friar history that I would like to experience or see again. All I need to do is make a few modifications to the Volvo S60, secure some plutonium, and BAAM I suddenly have a time machine.
Marty McFly: Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… Are you telling me that you built a time machine… out of a Volvo?
Dr. Emmett Brown: The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?
So let’s hop in, hit 88 miles per hour on the updated car, and re-live the best road wins for the Providence Friars in BIG EAST conference play.
March 13th, 1994: New York, NY
Providence 74, Georgetown 64
The BIG EAST Tournament for me has been a basketball nightmare since following PC. Thank god for the plentiful nearby bars to help me get through it. I’ve only missed it a few years since ’98, but have only come away with seeing one win in person (versus DePaul in ’09, who only won 1 BIG EAST game all year). If I’m hanging out with Doc Brown, I’m having him enter into the dashboard the Final Game of the BIG EAST Tournament in 1994. Having only seen the Friars play as far as Wednesday, the thought of experiencing a Saturday night in New York City with the Friars winning the whole damn thing gets me extremely giddy. There also is the added benefit of seeing Michael “The Animal” Smith in action, who won the tournament MVP that year for his ridiculous rebounding skills. He had a terrific 16-16 double-double, clearly outplaying Hoyas big man Othella Harrington. The game was a typical BIG EAST rock fight, resulting in 54 fouls and 4 technicals. Sounds ugly, but the only BIG EAST Tournament Championship for the Friars is gorgeous no matter how the game was played.
Must-do Activity: Spend some at Stout talking college basketball with complete strangers before the game, and revel in the victory with other Friar fans with some great beers after the game.
January 24th, 2004: Hartford, CT
Living near Connecticut, it may not seem like a sexy pick to hop on 84 only to go spend some time quality in Hartford. But hey, where we’re going we don’t need roads. My Volvo S60 is a time machine, remember? On the back of Ryan Gomes (26 points, 12 rebounds), the Tim Welsh led Friars upset the #4 ranked Huskies as 11.5 point underdogs. Sitting in the Hartford Civic Center watching Gomes tear up Emeka Okafor in front of all of those UCONN fans would have been a beautiful thing. But the real reason for wanting to re-live this game? Sitting in the post-game press conference listening to Jim Calhoun rant about passing up Ryan Gomes.
Must-do Activity: Order a good beer at a nearby bar. Then, after someone tells me there was another good beer I should have ordered, flip over my bar stool and yell at the person. I F%$# up OK? YOU WANT ME TO SAY I F&^%) up?!
January 20th, 1990
Providence 87, Syracuse 86
According to the book “Providence College Basketball: The Friar Legacy” by Richard Coren (of ScoutFriars.com)
Throughout first 10 years of the Big East Conference, the one hurdle that the Friars could never overcome was to beat Syracuse University. The Friars were 0-21 in league play against the Orange. They turned things around when, on January 20th, 1990, the team visited the Carrier Dome and raced from a 10-point deficit to topped fifth-ranked Syracuse 87-86 on a last second foul-line jumper by Eric Murdock.
Wow! Sign me up for that one. Our games against Syracuse are probably coming to an end, so I would love to have seen a game where we actually stick it to them in their own building.
Must-do Activity: It’s late January in upstate New York. Must drink warming liquors? It’s also 1990, so I’d probably be jamming out to some Bell Biv Devoe. POISONNNNNNNNNNN!