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Traveling well

10:55 AM  Mar 21st, 2017
by Thomas M. Columbus

Over 16 days, I traveled a lot and saw a lot of basketball. The A-10 women’s tournament in Richmond. The men’s A-10 in Pittsburgh. The First Four in Dayton. The NCAAs in Indianapolis and Louisville.

Now basketball is but a thing on television until November.

But there are memories. Both Dayton teams playing hard and together. The UC Davis men celebrating the program’s first Division I tournament appearance with a victory. The Tennessee women — a program that has played in every women’s NCAA in history.

And the arenas: Richmond — “Think Hara Arena,” said a friend comparing the Coliseum to a Dayton landmark; Pittsburgh — you can tell the building is home to a hockey team; Dayton — the all-time-record-holding NCAA host; Indianapolis — where there was some green among the red on St. Patrick’s Day; and Louisville — a friend who is a native of that city, noted, “College basketball is king and queen in Kentucky.”

And food in the different cities: Richmond, where former UD Mag editor Matt Dewald led me to a different nationality restaurant each meal; Pittsburgh, now a foodie heaven; a nice meal in Indy; and then Louisville, where at a restaurant with 100 bourbons on the menu you can eat tortellini with ham and black-eyed peas.

But mostly I remember the people: friends, relatives, the Flyer News sports editor whom I sat next to on press row in Indy, the reporters from Nashville who showed me how find the media gate under the bridge in Louisville, relatives of players, fans of all ages.

UD is often described in clichés — we open doors for one another, we are family, we travel well.

I remember professor Joe Pici a half century ago asking, “What really is a cliché?”

What if it is true?

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