#rushthetrip: Wrapping Up 12 Games, 17 Days and 5,476 Miles on the Road

Posted by Bennet Hayes (@hoopstraveler) on February 25th, 2014

RTC columnist Bennet Hayes (@hoopstraveler) is looking for the spirit of college basketball as he works his way on a two-week tour of various venues around the West. For more about his trip, including his itinerary and previous stops on his journey, check out the complete series here.

They say that all good things must come to an end, and so is the case for my 17-day journey through college basketball’s Western lands. Large cities and small towns alike took turns as temporary homes, while the miles of passing scenery morphed from desert to snowy mountains and back to desert again, with plenty of change in between. The whirlwind ride reinforced the breadth of variety in the towns, arenas, and fan bases that stand behind Divison I’s basketball programs — only further mythologizing the notion of a “typical college town.” They make you work out West (note to future college basketball road trippers: the Heartland will be far kinder to your car’s odometer), but the payoff was worth every exhausting mile. By the numbers and some personal favorites, here’s the story of my trip.

Opening Night Was The Highlight Of This Trip, When The Pit Proved Worthy Of It's Elevated Standing Among The Home Floors Of College Hoops

Opening Night Was The Highlight Of This Trip, When The Pit Proved Worthy Of It’s Elevated Standing Among The Home Floors Of College Hoops

#rushthetrip, By The Numbers

  • Days: 17
  • States: 10
  • Games: 12
  • OT Games: 3
  • Miles Driven: 5,476
  • Distance from Tucson, AZ, to Spokane, WA: 1,494 miles
  • Tickets Received: 2
  • Biggest Arena: BYU (capacity of 20,900, sixth in D-I)
  • Smallest Arena: Sacramento State (capacity of 1,200, 348th in D-I)
  • Most Points (Individual): Stephen Madison, 42 (Idaho)
  • Smallest Margin Of Victory: 1, Boise State over New Mexico
  • Largest Margin Of Victory: 15, Gonzaga over Pepperdine
  • Best Team (by KenPom ranking): Arizona (#1)
  • Worst Team (by KenPom ranking): Southern Utah (#351)

#rushthetrip Favorites

Best Venues

  1. The Pit, Albuquerque, NM
  2. Marriott Center, Provo, UT
  3. McKale Center, Tucson, AZ

Best College Towns

  1. Tucson, AZ
  2. Boise, ID
  3. Fort Collins, CO

Best Student Sections

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Arizona
  3. BYU

Prettiest Facilities

  1. Galen Center (USC)
  2. McCarthey Athletic Center (Gonzaga)
  3. The Pit (New Mexico)

Best Meals Were At…

  1. Silver Grill Cafe (Fort Collins, CO)
  2. Moon’s Kitchen Cafe (Boise, ID)
  3. Base Camp Pizza (South Lake Tahoe, CA)

Favorite Microbrews (And Where They Were Discovered)

  1. Abbey (New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO)
  2. Racer 5 (Tony’s Darts Away, Burbank, CA)
  3. Pivo Hoppy Pils (Manito Tap House, Spokane, WA)

Three Stops For Next Time

  1. Pauley Pavilion (UCLA)
  2. Viejas Arena (San Diego State)
  3. Matthew Knight Arena (Oregon)
rushthetrip

Done.

BHayes (182 Posts)


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