Sunday, April 6, 2014

Facing the Music in Music City

We've made this mistake before: gone to the Final Four arriving the middle of the day before the first games. There's quite a bit of stuff on the two days before that would almost justify the cost of another hotel night. Game day minus two, there's the WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaching Association) awards dinner. The major attraction here is seeing your favorite players all poshed up in their best frocks.

Frame grab from "Real Ladies of Maples"

You have to be a WBCA member to get in (fan membership is $85/year) but anyone can stand outside and see the teams enter on a red-carpet walk.

Frame grab from "Real Ladies of Maples"

So we didn't see that. Some years, there's the WBCA's High School All-America game. It wasn't held this year. On game day minus one, there are the team open-practice sessions, highlighted this year by the impromptu line dance (don't miss the video). We didn't see that; it was happening about as our plane was landing. There's a battle of the bands, that should be fun. Stanford's band won it this year.

Wandering around "Tourneytown" on game day we did happen into the mascot play-off, won by the Tree on a trivia question.

Closer to game time there was a no-host reception for Stanford fans in the lobby of the team hotel.

Finally it was game-time. And you know how that went down, with the hopeful first half and the struggling second half, ending with the final team huddle of the season.

For the above pictures at higher resolution, as well as a bunch more photos of Nashville and things before and around the games (Muffet's green shoes ... E. Payne's award ... the Pedal Tavern ... the Terp being adorable...), check out the photos in the gallery.