NCAA Tournament Photo Essay – Floriani Takes Newark

Posted by Brian Goodman on March 29th, 2011

Ray Floriani of College Chalk Talk is an RTC contributor. Ray chronicled his travails at the Prudential Center over the weekend and shares some of the sights.

The fates of the Newark Regional decided it was Kentucky’s destiny to spend this week in Houston. The 16 teams entered with high hopes and aspirations, though only one would emerge victorious. Getting this far is an accomplishment in and of itself and the regional took on an entire festive atmosphere. Hosting its first regional, Newark went all out. From its ‘Hoopfest’ to some great games at the relatively new Prudential Center, this Newark Regional was one to remember. In a final between two of college basketball’s bluebloods, it was a game, fittingly enough, not decided until the final minute.  A few sights and sounds from The Prudential Center, the day of the finals…

The Prudential Center. Both sessions saw crowds in excess of 18,000. It just wasn’t the numbers that made the experience great. The arena afforded spectacular site lines and provided the stage for a wonderful atmosphere. The drama and intensity of both Kentucky games helped a bit as well.
No beer for yours truly, but a stop at the Nasto’s stand. Located in Newark’s Ironbound section, this noted ice cream establishment specializes in making their own products, and making them well. On Sunday I sampled the cantaloupe ice cream. Needless to say, it was outstanding.

It was sunny, but on the chilly side. No complaint from these UK fans. After all their, team was still playing and Houston would be a bit warmer.
Did you think this essay would be complete without a cheer shot and the author? Ray with a few Kentucky cheerleaders.
It’s hard to believe this will be Kentucky’s first Final Four since 1998. A long time coming for the Wildcats, whose fan base virtually demand Final Fours come on a regular basis. Postgame excitement, joy and sense of achievement were evident for Coach Cal and his group. Still, Kentucky knows there is unfinished business.
The band is one of the spirit groups providing the entertainment. At a time like this, it’s not out of the question to see members like this young musician taking a break to capture the history and excitement of the moment.
Brian Goodman (966 Posts)

Brian Goodman a Big 12 microsite writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.

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