Bumped. Great first hand notes on the tourney experience in Vegas. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
After attending the first 3 days of the tournament in Vegas I just returned to LA this morning and will catch the finals on TV. Here on some comments on my experience...
- I've attended the tourney a couple of times at Staples and while the venue at the MGM pales in comparison to Staples, the energy and excitement of being in Vegas more than made up for it. I'm not sure of how the attendance numbers compare but the MGM Arena certainly didn't come off looking cavernous and empty the way that Staples did to me when I attended there.
- Having the games literally right at the hotel where we stayed was an amazing experience. I had several close encounters with players and stars/heros of the past and that really added to the overall enjoyment of my time in Vegas. The highlight was an elevator ride with Tyus. Also, although I didn't speak with him personally, seeing Lorenzo Romar interact with opposing players and fans up close gave me the impression that he's a genuinely nice guy.
- The place was overrun with Arizona fans. I'm sure that there are many decent ones out there but I had a run in with a few that really left a bad impression with me. I'm sure every school has their a-hole contingent but I guess I got lucky to get to deal the Az ones. That obviously made it ever so much sweeter to send them home disappointed.
- I really wish UCLA would have had a better fan turnout. I guess if we can't even fill Pauley, why should I expect a decent showing in Vegas, right?
- I'm not sure if it had to do with school schedules or what but the Colorado and Utah student sections were impressive and fun to watch. UCLA's group looked pretty thin and not close to what I'm used to seeing at Pauley.
- All of the games were fantastic! Well, except one. But that's a pretty good batting average I'd say.
If anyone is considering attending next year, I would highly recommended it. A great experience all around.