There was a little warmup for in Syracuse for our quarter slice of the Sweet Sixteen pie.
I took a walk up to the Syracuse University hill because the NCAA opened the Carrier Dome for free to watch the practices for the four squads who’d reached the East Regional portion of the Sweet Sixteen. By the way, did you have North Carolina State, Michigan State, Louisville and Oklahoma advancing this far in your bracket? No, me neither.
School still being in session, it looked fairly normal around Marshall Street, but they did have the merchandise set out front at T-shirt-and-more emporium Manny’s, with a big Syracuse Orange mascot Otto making his appearance for the festivities, trying to woo activity.
Each squad received an hour inside the dome, starting with the Wolfpack of North Carolina State at noon. Ushers told the couple thousand fans they could sit in the lower level, in the silver bleachers. I could tell some portions of the dome seating was cordoned off differently by the NCAA than its is for Syracuse regular season games, to make room for more visiting media.
I interviewed an array of folks and took photos for a piece I plan to post Saturday for my community blog column for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org. But first my dear wife Karen and I will return to the hill after she gets out of work at SMG tonight.
I expect there to be considerably more action than yesterday afternoon at the Syracuse University Sheraton bar, a short walk down the hill from the dome. We have no tickets, but we’ll be talking to folks, and I’ll be taking more photos, and … Who knows where my nose for news will lead me. Tune in here and at waer.org tomorrow morning.
Have you ever gone to watch one of your sports team practice, and who and why? Are you in the market for some T-shirts-and-more, and what would you like? Who are you rooting for the rest of the way in the tournament?