Pregame warmups at Madison Square Garden:
Former UConn coach and Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun takes in the action: (Side note here: I caught up with Calhoun before the game, and was elated to see that he remembered me from our past encounters over the years. He's still one of the classiest and nicest guys I've ever known.)
St. John's is introduced:
College basketball Renaissance man Ray Floriani with Red Storm cheerleaders Jenn and Jess:
UConn players in the huddle during a timeout:
Finally, St. John's head coach Steve Lavin fields a postgame question:
NEW YORK CITY -After all the analyzing, watching teams making their runs, weathering those runs and assorted adjustments (or non-adjustments) it all came down to this. “You are grateful,” in the words of St. John's coach Steve Lavin, “whenever you get a win in the Big East.”
St. John's defeated UCONN 71-65 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. The Garden was not sold out but the 8,000 plus were treated to the type of contest that has defined this conference for several decades. The fanfare and pageantry. More notable, the type of game coming down to the last few minutes. With the winner being the one able to make the plays at the end.
UCONN-St. John's. No Lou Carnesecca and Jim Calhoun on opposite sidelines (though the former Husky mentor was behind the UCONN bench). Instead it was Lavin matching wits with Kevin Ollie. Times have changed. Regardless, we had that intensity that has become expected on those Winter nights in the conference.That, is a constant, that hasn't been altered.