SAN ANTONIO -- As I sit in the hotel lobby the morning after one of the most thrilling championship games ever, I started pondering some of the bests and worsts of my road to San Antonio, which included stops in Denver and Detroit.
SAN ANTONIO -- The Sunday before the title game is usually a day of rest and relaxation. Over at the dome, the teams have brief practice/walk through sessions and meet the media one last time before the game. Fans of the winning teams are out taking in the sights and sounds of the city. Fans of the losing teams are harder to find and probably trying to get out of Dodge.
SAN ANTONIO -- Undoubtedly, that's the question being asked in the Kansas locker room as they look at tapes of the Memphis back court of Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Antonio Anderson. Those three combined for all but 12 of the Tiger points in last night's win over UCLA.
SAN ANTONIO -- A fairly routine day of day-before-the-title-game interviews here at the Alamodome. The one semi-newsworthy note is that Memphis's Derrick Rose bowed out of interviews (both on the dais and one-on-ones) as he was suffering a stomach ache.
SAN ANTONIO -- I got up early (again) on Semifinal Saturday and took a mosey around downtown San Antonio. It looks like many touristy areas, with shops, restaurants, bars, a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, etc, all seeming built around this place.
SAN ANTONIO -- We're still more than a couple hours away from our first semifinal between Memphis and UCLA, but there's plenty of buzz already surrounding the Alamodome as media members and fans start to file in the building for what should be some exciting basketball tonight.
And if you've watched Tyler Hansbrough at all this year, you'll know that there's no one who will be more excited than the North Carolina junior to take the floor for this evening's second semifinal against Big 12 champ Kansas.
SAN ANTONIO -- Yesterday was the day of the open practice session, which I was hoping to attend, but first, I had to go fight off the challenges of the credential disappearance system and see if I could actually acquire mine (click "more" for, um, more).
SAN ANTONIO -- They drag the river part of the famed "River Walk" regularly here and they do it with a boat that is rigged with nets under its bow and two spotters looking to see if anything - or anyone - is dredged up.
This weekend, when that boat makes its trip amidst a cuty-full of Final Four participants and on-lookers, it will probably not be able to cleanse the river of things like the following beacuse:
SAN ANTONIO -- North Carolina coach Roy Williams knew while his team played Louisville in Charlotte, N.C., last weekend that there was a decent chance he could be facing his former team in the Final Four.
But after Kansas' survival victory over Davidson in the Elite Eight last weekend, that circumstance has now become a reality and Williams has never really totally forgotten about his days in Lawrence, Kan.
SAN ANTONIO -- North Carolina has taken the floor for its open practice here at the Alamodome, and the Tar Heel faithful that have shown up for the session are on their feet and applauding their team.
Stretching, of course, is the first order of business for Roy Williams' players, and after Kansas' Rodrick Stewart fractured his kneecap earlier this afternoon on a dunk attempt late in the Jayhawks' open practice session, you can't undermine the importance of getting those ligaments and tendons all worked out before putting any other stress on the body.
SAN ANTONIO -- Not surprisingly, Rodrick Stewart, a fifth-year senior, will miss the Final Four. Coach Bill Self told the assembled media that he fractured his kneecap when he slipped and fell after an attempted dunk.
Self said that he told the freshmen they could dunk, but Stewart decided to join the party.
SAN ANTONIO -- The Final Four attracts all of the big wheels of this sport, and sometimes even other sports, to the host city, and we are blessed this year to have the event in San Antonio. Unlike Detroit, which hosted last week's Midwest regional and hosts next year's Final Four, you can walk this city. Most people do that on the Riverwalk, where there is a bevy of bars, restaurants and shops to keep people occupied.
SAN ANTONIO -- A bit of a frustrating morning for your CSTV.commers here in the Alamo City. Our special secret trip to a special nearby Texas town was aborted after major delays in trying to procure our media credential at the Alamo Dome. Seems the NCAA hasn't quite mastered the photoing process for media credentials and since our pictures weren't received by the NCAA, we were asked to wait in a line as long as the Great Wall.
SAN ANTONIO -- Welcome to the site of the 2008 Final Four and, more specifically, La Quinta By The Denny's where the CSTV.com crew is headquartered for the fortnight. Or FourNight.
Things are already buzzing a bit in the city with coaches starting to roll in last night, participating teams beginning to arrive and our first minor news story of the weekend as Memphis back-up guard Andre Allen has been suspended for at least the first game of the Final Four.
A rather important announcement today, as Kid Rock has been added to the list of entertainers who will in San Antonio for the Final Four.
According to a release, "Kid Rock, the Grammy Award-nominated artist known for his unique mix of Southern rock, hip-hop, and blues-and country-tinged ballads, will perform at Pontiac Garage at the Final Four on Saturday, April 5 as part of The Big Dance -- a free, four-day entertainment extravaganza in celebration of the NCAA Men’s Final Four. With over 22 million albums sold throughout his career, Kid Rock’s San Antonio appearance comes in the midst of the successful release of his 2007 Rock N Roll Jesus album -- his first album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
The NCAA today announced some of the acts who will perform at the Final Four in San Antonio.
Hang Time was very happy to hear of the involvement of Robert Earl Keen, a true Cinderella of music. You can be sure we'll figure out a way to either meet REK or, at the very least, live-blog from his show.
There are more acts to be announced in the coming weeks, but so far, so good for what has become a really valuable part of Final Four Weekend - outdoor entertainment and music. (John Cougar in Indy was outstanding a couple of years back.)