Saturday Morning at the RAC with the Hoyas

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Good morning to everyone. 

We're 17 minutes from tipoff at the Louis Brown Athletic Center - or the RAC, as everyone knows it - and the crowd is slowly filtering in as the Hoyas get ready to take on Rutgers in an important BIG EAST game.

I'll be here as much as I can throughout the game...probably more than I am for some home games.
I drove over to Rutgers from our hotel this morning with Senior Director of Communications Bill Shapland and Director of Ticket Operations Steve Alleva after having breakfast with radio man Rich Chvotkin and his sons.

We arrived in Piscataway last night.  Coincidentally, Shap and I bumped into the ESPN television crew for today's game - Beth Mowins and color analyst Mike Kelley, the former Wisconsin guard - at the restaurant and chatted with them for a few minutes.

Head Coach John Thompson III did his normal pregame interview with Chvotkin at about 10:30 and then did an on-camera interview with Mowins as ESPN is highlighting the Martin Luther King Day Celebration this weekend throughout many of its games.  Coach Thompson spoke of how many opportunities that Dr. King helped to create for people and the impact that he had on many people, his father included.

Before the game, many of us have also had the chance to say hello to former Hoya assistant coach David Cox, who is now on staff here at Rutgers.

Just over two minutes left before the tip.  Normal starters for the Hoyas.

A basket from Jason Clark and a 24-second violation to start.  Followed by a three from Hollis.  That's the way to start.  Evidently, referee Gene Sterratore didn't get an NFL playoff game since he's doing this game.  You can see him during Sunday NFL games from time to time.

A three from Freeman makes it 8-0 and forces Mike Rice to call a timeout.

We're at the first media timeout and it's 8-5 Hoyas.  had a question from a friend of mine watching the game from home when I tweeted that I was courtside for the game.  He asked how many times we've played in this slot this season.  I didn't think it was that many, but in looking  back this is our seventh game that has been on ESPN in which we've been the noon (or 11 a.m. one game) tip. 

Back for the second half and the Hoyas hit the first basket to make it an 8-point lead, 33-25, and have the ball coming back for the second half.

Evidently, there was some sort of synchronized drumline at halftime of the game, performed by a group of younger kids.  Shap and several people said it was fantastic.  I could tell it was really loud from inside.

The lead is at 10 points after the Hoyas had opened a 16-point advantage early in the second half.  I'm working more on my recap, but the flurry of three-pointers this half had me look.  We've hit six this half.  That's more than we hit in any of the previous six games and in nine of the last 10 games overall.

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