Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crisscrossing the Nation for College Hoops - Madison, Wisconsin

ESPN's Saturday Night Prime Time show went to Madison, Wisconsin, a quaint college town as well as the capital of the Badger State. The Badgers of the University of Wisconsin played host to the Ohio State Buckeyes in this Big Ten matchup at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin defeated Ohio State 55-50 in one of the most boring basketball games I've ever witnessed.  The Big Ten plays plodding, methodical basketball, which I'm sure makes for bad TV.  Trust me, the only reason I watched it was because I was working it and had no choice.  Both teams barely broke twenty points in the first half; the halftime score was 24-23 Wisconsin.  Considering the halftime score of the previous Wednesday's Carolina/Duke contest was 52-44, you can imagine what a yawner this was.  I suppose it's not fair to compare the Big Ten to either the ACC or the Big East because there is no comparison.

At any rate, Madison is a delightful place, especially in the fall, when I've been there for college football.  It's the first time I stayed downtown, and I liked that much better.  Although I was disappointed I didn't have a lake view from my hotel room, I did have a nice look at Madison's capitol building:

Like Spokane, Madison is its state's second-largest city.  I don't know how people can live there.  Too cold.  But they're nice people of hearty German stock.  They have to be to put up with the cold, snowy weather.

And this was probably a mild day.  (Can you tell I grew up in the Sandhills of North Carolina?)  But places like the Nitty Gritty - where you can hang out and have a nice bowl of chili, a yummy grilled cheese sandwich, or some kind of brat dish while looking at framed pictures of famous people and ESPN crew members - keep you warm inside.

After a couple of days in chilly New York, I leave tonight for equally chilly Louisville.

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