1. November 30th, 2009 - New Orleans Saints 38 New England Patriots 17 - Touted as a potential Super Bowl Preview, the 10-0 Saints hosted the 7-3 Patriots on Monday Night Football and the atmosphere did not disappoint. This was my first Superdome experience and the place was just nuts, there's no other way to describe it. New England took a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter and then Drew Brees just took the game over finishing 18 of 23 for 371 yards and 5 touchdown passes to 5 different receivers.
|Photo Credit: sportsillustrated.cnn.com|
2. January 1st, 2010 - Florida Gators 51 Cincinnati Bearcats 24 - After suffering their only loss of the season in the SEC Championship game to Alabama, Florida took on previously unbeaten Big East Champion Cincinnati in the 2010 All State Sugar Bowl. It was Tim Tebow's last game as a college player and boy did he go out on top. Tebow completed 31 of 35 passes for 482 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with 51 rushing yards and another touchdown as the Gators jumped out to a 37-3 lead and never looked back.
|Photo Credit: sports.espn.go.com|
3. March 24th, 2011 - (2) Florida 83 (3) BYU 74, OT - Already mentioned getting to see Tim Tebow's last game as a college player, and in this game I was able to see Jimmer Fredette's last game with BYU when the Cougars took on the Gators in the Sweet 16. While he didn't have a great night shooting the basketball (11 for 29 including 3 for 15 from long range), he still finished with 32 points and 5 assists in a losing effort and I've got to say it was pretty impressive. But ultimately, Florida's size and speed was too much for the Cougars as they were led by Senior Alex Tyus's 19 points and 17 rebounds and SEC Player of the Year Chandler Parsons' 16 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
|Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com|
4. March 18th, 2010 - (9) Wake Forest 81 (8) Texas 80, OT - Ishmael Smith's jumper with 1.3 seconds remaining gave Wake Forest a one point victory over Texas in the First Round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. This was the fourth game my buddy Scott and I sat through on this particular day and it was by far the most exciting. The 6'0" Smith finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists while fellow future NBAer Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in 20 points and 15 rebounds. Texas featured Avery Bradley (Celtics), the now infamous Dexter Pittman (Heat), Damion James (Nets) and Jordan Hamilton (Nuggets), but were led instead by freshman J'Covan Brown's 20 points. James missed a free throw (he finished 7 for 8 at the line) with 9 seconds to play in regulation that could have won the game for Texas.
|Photo Credit: usatoday.com|
5. November 5th, 2010 - New Orleans Hornets 96 Miami Heat 93 - Now if you follow the blog at all you know I'm not a fan of the Miami Heat, particularly after 'The Decision' and the party that ensued where LeBron famously said they were out to win at least 8 Championships and that it was going to be easy, etc. So while this game was just a regular season game it featured a 4-0 Hornets team and a 4-1 Heat team and actually seemed to have a playoff atmosphere about it. The Hornets jumped out to a huge early lead going up by as many as 14 late in the first quarter, but Miami battled back as they so often do even taking the lead late in the game. But Marco Belinelli made a pair of free throws to give the Hornets the lead once again, then Trevor Ariza drilled a three for some breathing room and Eddie House misfired on a last second effort to give New Orleans the win. Chris Paul finished with 13 points, an absurd 19 assists and 5 steals for the Hornets while Chris Bosh managed to grab just 1 rebound in 34 minutes for Miami.
|Photo Credit: zimbio.com|
6. November 22nd, 2008 - Ole Miss 31 LSU 13 - My first trip to Tiger Stadium. Yeah, it was a day game, and yeah 2008 wasn't one of LSU's better seasons, but there were still 92,649 fans in attendance which was pretty impressive. The tailgating wasn't bad either. As for the game, Mike Wallace (Steelers) led the way for Ole Miss with 99 receiving yards and a pair of scores while the vaunted quarterback duo of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee combined to go 14 for 32 with a pair of interceptions and 16 rushing yards on 11 carries. 20 of those rushing yards came on one scramble by Jefferson.
|Photo Credit: zimbio.com|
7. July 24th, 2009 - Houston Astros 5 New York Mets 4 - This one makes the list because I'm an Astros fan and this was the first time I'd been to a regular season Astros game where I'd even gotten to see them score let alone win. With Mets ace Johan Santana on the hill, a win in this one seemed unlikely, but Mike Hampton connected for a line drive 2-run home run into the Crawford Boxes in left and then Chris Coste, starting at first base for the injured Lance Berkman, delivered a 2-run double and the Astros hung on for the implausible 5-4 win. I caught the next two games of the 3-game series as well and Houston was outscored 18-6 making the memories of this game that much fonder.
|Photo Credit: cbssports.com|
8. March 18th, 2010 - (1) Kentucky 100 (16) East Tennessee State 71 - Top seeded Kentucky completely overwhelmed the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament champion Buccaneers in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The tournament favorites got 29 points including 8 three-pointers from Eric Bledsoe and 17 points and 11 assists from point guard John Wall as the 'Cats broke the 100 point barrier for just the fourth time that season. Seven members of that Wildcat team are already in the NBA: Patrick Patterson (Rockets), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Bledsoe (Clippers), Wall (Wizards), Josh Harrellson (Knicks), DeAndre Liggins (Magic) and Daniel Orton (Magic). Wall would end up being the first overall pick in the 2010 draft and the one thing that really stood out about him was just how fast he was. Granted he was playing against East Tennessee State, but still. Definitely worth the price of admission.
|Photo Credit: vaughtsviews.com|
9. March 24th, 2011 - (8) Butler 61 (4) Wisconsin 54 - For the second year in a row Butler worked its magic in the NCAA Tournament and I was there to see them knock off Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. Butler led by as many as 20 in the second half before Wisconsin finally came alive, but it was too little too late. Butler held Badger forward Jon Leuer (Bucks) to just 1 for 12 shooting and got 20 points and 12 rebounds for the 2011 Academic All American of the Year Matt Howard. Jordan Taylor was the only player to score in double figures for Wisconsin finishing with 22 as the Badgers were held to just 30.4% shooting.
|Photo Credit: courierpress.com|
10. October 24th, 2009 - LSU 31 Auburn 10 - From a good game standpoint, this game was awful, but it was the only night game I had the opportunity of seeing at Tiger Stadium, and the atmosphere was incredible. 92,654 screaming fans and they had a LOT to cheer about. Auburn didn't get into the end zone until the final seconds of the game, and otherwise it was all LSU. Auburn gained just 193 total yards and turned the ball over three times while Jordan Jefferson accounted for 3 touchdowns and 268 all purpose yards for the Tigers.
|Photo Credit: nola.com|