Las Vegas, Nevada: Though the last several days have been occupied with University of Oregon Trustee meetings (the final year of DT's eight year commitment) in nearby Indian Wells, we hopped in the Jeep the minute his conference adjourned and pointed ourselves towards Las Vegas to attend the men's Pac-12 basketball tournament.
The Duck women have already captured the Pac-12 title. Will the men be able to match their expertise?
Again this year, we took the major-freeway route, with high speed limits. I made sandwiches for the road and we arrived to Las Vegas in just over four hours, checked-in to a hotel and had a nice (quick, quiet) meal at the nearby Il Fornaio in New York New York hotel. (If we have a choice, it seems the answer will always be Italian food.)
Plus, Il Fornaio offer a caprese salad with warm, roasted tomatoes.
Feeling much better, we walked to T-Mobile Arena to catch the second half of the Beaver v Huskie game. As we approached the new arena, look who we found at a Duck pep rally:
The Duck looked right past me, because he had spied DT. Of course, The Duck wanted his photo taken with Dave.
This shot was immediately posted on Instagram with the #PAC12HOOPS hash tag!
We met our old friends in the stadium - Mary and Steve flew from Portland to attend the tournament and we ordered seats together. It was so wonderful to see them again.
Ummm... DT stopped shaving a few weeks ago. No one, including DT, can decide if this is a good look or a bad look - yet.
The Beaver v Dawg game was very close, but in the end the Stinkin' Beavers beat the Washington Huskies in over-time and will advance. Between games, the fans are entertained by a host/emcee who organizes games, throws tee shirts to the crowd and offers prizes of dinners at local restaurants, event tickets, and show tickets. Acts from the Las Vegas strip also entertain at halftime. It is fun, and of course, there is always the "Kiss Cam" to entertain the patient fans.
During one break, the school bands raced in a relay balancing a stack of pizza boxes. Unique.
We also enjoyed a basketball game between the mascots of the northern v southern Pac-12 schools. This was relatively hilarious as it must be impossible to play basketball inside a costume. The mascots played with the same skill you would observe at a first-grade game.
I can't remember which "team" won, but only one basket was scored during the entire fiasco. Again, obviously the Oregon Duck is the best mascot.
During the game, fans were encouraged to post their photos on Instagram with the #PAC12HOOPS hash tag and the photos were then rotated on the big screen above the court:
Looky here! Steve and Mary on the top left corner and Our Own DT in the center!
It must be the beard - look who won the Instagram of the Game:
Or it could be the photographer? (It's the beard. I snapped the photo with my phone.)
In the meantime, there was a basketball game to watch. The Ducks stayed ten points behind the Washington Cougars nearly the entire game. It was so awful and My Poor Driver was pondering his decision to drive four-plus hours to only reverse the route the next day... but as they do so often, the Cougars "cooged-it" and the Ducks won the game! The Oregon schools beat the Washington schools tonight - both games required over-time.
Even the Duck was exhausted.
We live to play another day!
Or night. The Ducks face the University of Utah at 8:30p pacific tomorrow. Fox Sports 1.
Until my next update, I remain, your sporty correspondent.