Live From Phoenix - Sweet 16

I have been to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds the last two years, and I had a blast each time.  It's great meeting other bruin fans, opposing fans, and traveling around with the team.  For die hards, it is a must-do experience.

This year, I thought I might try to give a relatively-real-time look into the experience.  I'm not sure how often I will be near the computer, but hopefully I can contribute enough posts to give those out there a sense of what it was like this year to be in Phoenix on the road to the Alamodome!!

6:00 P.M. -

Finished crafting jury instructions for the judge I work for in San Diego.  Thank god, this is one trial that can go on without me.  My girlfriend just picked me up, off to the airport.

7:00 --

Flight is delayed until 7:35 P.M.  Hopefully it won't be too delayed too long.  There are a few UCLA fans who appear to be heading to Phoenix for the games, but not many.  I suspect most people traveling to the games will arrive in Phoenix on Thursday.

My girlfriend and I are meeting my mom and sister (and possibly other family members) in Phoenix, but we don't have tickets to the games yet.  Good news, however, is that there is free wireless access in the San Diego airport.  I just checked craigslist for the phoenix area, and it looks like there are definately some tickets available.  Hopefully my sister and mom rented a car.

7:20 P.M. --

GOOD NEWS from Phoenix.  My mom and sister just called, and they are in Phoenix.  They just checked into our hotel - The Hilton Suites in Phoenix - and immediately saw Ben Howland sitting somewhere near the lobby.  My sister is star struck, and my mom is apparently worried that we are acting like roadies following around the team.  I can't wait to get there.

My sister informs me that they didn't rent a car, which disturbs me a little.  I think we might need to get a car to assist with buying tickets to the games.  When buying tickets on craigslist, it always helps to have a car to go pick up the tickets.  We'll see.

7:35 P.M. --


8:50 P.M. --

We made it to Phoenix.  The plane ride went pretty well.

9:25 P.M. --

We made it to the hotel, and I am so glad we are staying at the official UCLA team hotel.  For starters, when you walk in the front door of the hotel, you are greeted with a GIANT UCLA banner hanging from the rafters like championship banner.  Awesome.  And there are UCLA folks milling about everywhere.  Lots of blue.  It's weird, but somehow staying here you feel like you are part of a close knit group of bruin supporters.

9:50 P.M. --

My sister and I have officially changed the desk in our room into what we are calling "The Ticket Center" or "Our Office."  We just scoured craigslist for tickets, and we e-mailed a few folks.  Someone offered a pair of tickets for Thursdays game only for $400.00.  Too steep for us right now.  However, it does look like ticket prices are coming down.

10:00 P.M. --

Looking into tickets more the last ten minutes, i can tell you that ticket prices are coming down since Monday.  Craigslist has tickets for tomorrow's game in the lower level for $125.00, which I don't think is that bad.  This is the NCAA tournament after all.  Upper Level tickets should be available for around $50.00, maybe $75.00, if you keep looking.

10:10 P.M. --

We MIGHT have just got tickets.  We'll see.  We checked in at, which I believe is the official NCAA ticket resaler, and there were quite a few very affordable tickets to be had.  We sprung for 4 tickets in the lower level for a bit less than $120 per ticket.  Well worth it for the peace of mind in my opinon.  However, it is not clear how they (razorgator) can deliver them in time.  So we are worried about that.  Apparently, the tickets are not guaranteed until they e-mail us tonight or tomorrow with a guaranteeing e-mail, at which point they will charge my credit card.  Until then, I can only say we might have bought tickets.

I think our ticket plan is to call in the morning to see what the status is.  If they can confirm tickets, great.  If not, we'll go back to craigslist and stubhub, and if we have to, we'll go to the arena with cash in hand.

10:28 P.M. --

Here is kind of a shocker.  The players seem to be meeting in the meeting areas near the lobby, and it is 10:40 PM at night!  I certainly don't say that in a negative way, I am just surprised.  Seems kind of late to me.  But I'm sure this isn't the first time.  Also, I sort of had the sense that Howland would have the team on lockdown.  But that doesn't appear to be the case.  The players are cruising around near the hotel lobby.  Just saw Josh Shipp and, I am almost positive, his brother Jerren.

The players seem loose.  Prince Luc was smiling, and and everyone seems happy and healthy.

This is going to be a good week.

10:45 P.M. --

My sister reports that busloads of basketball fans are arriving downstairs.  The hotel seems quiet right now, but I imagine it will be crazy tomorrow.

11:00 P.M.  --

See you tomorrow.  Unless something bruins up tonight.

Update [2008-3-27 14:13:8 by rfirpo]:

March 27, 2008 7:45 A.M. -- It is a beautiful day in Phoenix, and it is going to be hot! I got an e-mail from last night, and apparently my tickets for the games today are confirmed. The only problem is that I need to pick them up somewhere in Pheonix. We are headed out right now for coffee, to pick up the car, and then to try to get the tickets into our hands. The hotel is quiet.

Update [2008-3-27 14:13:8 by rfirpo]:

10:58 A.M. --

Beautiful and Hot day in Phoenix. Scorcher actually.

We just picked them up somewhere a couple miles from the hotel. God, its nice to have tickets in hand. Turns out the razorgator buying experience was a very successful one. Tickets are in the lower level, section 123. Not bad actually. We paid $120 a piece. pricey, but worth it.

Update [2008-3-27 14:13:8 by rfirpo]:

11:07 A.M. --

The team is starting to meet downstairs. Just saw Abdul-Hamid in the elevator.

Someone asked what Howland had for breakfast. I can't answer that question. The area where the team eats and goes through walk-throughs is behind a curtain of blue velvet. But my guess is Ben got something good to eat.

Also, dropped by the Hyatt Regency hotel this morning to pick up a rental car. Looks like the hyatt (which is right near the arena) is the official media hotel. We were able to snag a couple media guides with quotes and pictures and information for the Bruins. I will drop some quotes later.

Update [2008-3-27 14:27:43 by rfirpo]:

11:25 A.M. --

You should see the motorcade preparing to take the team over to the arena. One big bus, a couple cars, and four motorcycle police. Rolling in style, as they should.

Hopefully I can figure out how to get some pictures of this stuff up on this site.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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