Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Everything we saw in the Barclays Center during A-10 quarterfinals

From drunken fans before noon, to one of the worst halftime performances ever seen
Kayla Wong/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team’s season is over, but we stuck around for the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals Thursday. Eight different teams played which means eight varying fanbases, four games and some interesting observations throughout the day.

No. 8 Davidson vs. No. 1 VCU 

  • Rams fans were no stranger to the 16-ounce Bud Light. The 11:30 a.m. tip didn’t phase them, VCU got a couple poor calls when the game was basically over, and Rams fans continued losing their minds over them. One specific fan had multiple Oscar-worthy performances, acting as though the referees got away with a felony.
  • A middle-aged VCU fan smacked a media member in shoulder flapping his arms like the Saint Joseph’s Hawk while trying to hype up the crowd. He was the most active Rams fan Thursday, running up and down the first row, high-fiving any fellow VCU fan he saw.
  • Behind Fordham, VCU had the second-most active fan base of the eight teams on Thursday. They filled up most of the section behind their teams bench, and a fair portion of of the section behind media.

No. 5 George Mason vs. No. 4 Saint Louis

  • The second game between Saint Louis and George Mason began with our first exposure to GMU’s famous Green Machine pep band. The Machine, led by Dr. Michael Nickens, a.k.a. “Doc Nix” drew our attention early, thanks to his custom green glittered suit. Between the multiple singers leading arrangements that spanned over numerous genres and the sheer volume of the band itself, the Machine was performing like they had just left Broadway the night before.
  • Halftime of this one gave us Tyler’s Amazing Balancing Act, a performance that felt like it was tailor-made for the A-10. Tyler, the self-proclaimed “most booked act in college basketball” did exactly as advertised: he balanced a bunch of objects on his chin. These objects included a bicycle, two different sized ladders, a folding chair, and an ironing board (which he balanced while hitting the whip and nae nae. Are we in 2016 again?)
  • We concluded that both team’s mascots were at least a 7/10 on the creepiness scale. The Patriot’s two-toned face was slightly odd, while the Billiken remained menacing. This writer (Dean) wished they went back to the old smiling Billiken with the squiggly smile. That one was cool.
  • A George Mason fan in the first half stood up after thinking the refs missed a travel call, leaving the plumber’s crack on full display.

No. 10 Saint Joseph’s vs. No. 2 Dayton

  • We sat in open seats minutes before the game, directly behind Jac Collinsworth and Julianne Viani-Braen, who were calling the game for USA Network. We got excited for our chance to be on T.V. in the background, but that was quickly by a tarnished by an A-10 worker who said we couldn’t sit there. Maybe next time.
  • Dayton sophomore Brady Uhl hadn’t played more than two minutes in any conference game this season, all of which came in garbage time of a few games. He played seven minutes Thursday, serving as the Flyers’ sixth man since they were dealing with injuries. Uhl sparked what was mostly a dead Dayton crowd midway through the first half with a 3-pointer. Flyers fan immediately stood up and got into the game, which also started a 14-0 run.
  • Doc Nix and Mason have the awesome pep band, but Dayton’s bandleader had a suit jacket that lit up like a Times Square advertisement board.
  • There a short list of people who have stronger shoulders than the always-flapping Saint Joseph’s hawk mascot.
  • The Fordham student section started filling in near the end of the first half of this game. By the end of the game, Fordham and Dayton fans filled up an entire corner of the arena. This lead to what looked like a little conflict between an older Flyers fan and some the Rams students. There was about six or so security members in between the Dayton fan and the students, with the older fan looking quite upset. It’s very hard to tell what actually happened since we weren’t right there, but it was going on for at least 10 minutes. There was one security guard who stayed and sat next to students after everything cooled down.

No. 11 La Salle vs. No. 3 Fordham

  • What would’ve been the strangest part of this game (we’ll discuss the strangest in a moment) was the hype around it. If you told me at the beginning of the season that Fordham/La Salle would bring the largest crowd by far to the A-10 tournament’s first three days, I’d have laughed in your face. Thanks to the Fordham athletic director cutting student ticket prices in half, that’s exactly what happened. Around 2,500 Fordham students and plenty of other Fordham fans filled up about two thirds of the Barclays Center’s lower bowl, leading to the most raucous environment we’ve experienced this season.
  • The amount of seats filled also led to a Fordham father and his son joining us on press row for the entire second half. Nobody stopped them. Why would they?
  • During a band cut-away on the jumbotron, the Fordham drummer dropped his drumstick. You could see him visibly freak out, quickly pick up the stick, and continue drumming again.
  • The best part of the day by far though was the Fordham/La Salle halftime show. For this game, the A-10 decided to bring out the Brooklyn Nets’ Team Hype, a group that half-danced, half-dunked (off trampolines). By our count, Team Hype went 7-of-18 on their dunks. One miss would have been funny on its own. But eleven?!?! Downright hilarious. Tears were forming in our eyes. They missed six in a row at one point and nearly got booed. It got to the point where we started questioning whether they were missing on purpose. Only in A-10 basketball.
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