Saturday, March 21 - 10:00pm
As I am sure many of you are aware, LSU's basketball season came to an end tonight. The game was much closer than the final score will show. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that I was at the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill. The sold out coliseum was jam packed with tar heel fans. The one or two hundred LSU fans found some friends in the Duke supporters across the arena. However that coalition wasn't enough to help the tigers beat the tar heels.
The LSU locker room was teary eyed. And understandable so. Garrett Temple, Chris Johnson, Marcus Thorton, Terry Martin and Quinton Thorton played their final game of college basketball tonight. They certainly have nothing to hang their heads about as they gave it their all. They, along with Coach Trent Johnson have provided a solid foundation for this basketball program grow on. Heck last year this team (minus a few players) won only 13 games. This year they finished with 27 wins. I expect the tigers to be back in the big dance again very soon.This will be my final blog from Greensboro. It was an experience of a lifetime and something I will never forget. Thanks and goodbye to eveyone who has been reading my blogs and keeping up with me on twitter. I have learned so much in so little time. It was a pleasure working side by side with Jacques and I would like to thank the great people at WAFB for making this possible for me. I look forward to returning to the Baton Rouge and continuing my work as an intern at Channel 9.
Friday, March 20th - 5:30pm
We are less than 24 hours away from one of the most anticipated games in LSU basketball history. Will ACC player of the year Ty Lawson play? He has missed three consecutive games with a toe injury. Will the LSU big men have an answer for the ACC's all-time leading scorer Tyler Hansbrough?
Find out tomorrow evening at 4:45 on WAFB.
There is some irony to this LSU/UNC match up. LSU has played UNC in the Greensboro Coliseum before. Back in 1996, the Tar Heels beat the Tigers 67-48 in Dale Brown's last season as head coach. And, ironically Tazmin Mitchel has gone toe to toe with Tyler Hansbrough aka Phsyco T. While in high school, Mitchell's yellow jackets lost to Phsyco T's team on a last second 3-pointer by Hansbrough's brother.
Tune in to 9news at 9 on WBXH tonight, I will join Andre' Moreau live via phone.
Friday, March 20th - 1:00am
Unfortunately, no games here today in Greensboro. More of the press conferences and practices. However, the LSU practice will not be open to the public like the previous one. So, for Jacques and I, it will only be press conferences.
North Carolina is the next task for the tigers. A tall one I might add. It's like night and day when you compare the youthful Bulldogs of Butler to the veteran North Carolina squad. UNC is a team is stacked with juniors(4) and seniors(8) including ACC player of the year Ty Lawson and 4 time All-American forward Tyler Hansbrough. Not exactly the Butler team that started 3 freshman and a sophomore in yesterdays contest. UNC coach Roy Williams has been to 6 final fours (4 with Kansas and 2 with UNC). The Heels like to run up and down the court and play a up-tempo game. Despite what many say, I expect a close and competitive game Saturday.
Thus far I have learned a lot. Mostly I've learned that covering an event like the NCAA tournament is not all fun and games. It does require hard work. There is much more to it than just going to the game and putting a package together.
One of the perks of this trip is hearing Jacques and his famous impersonations. Some of my personal favorites are (in no particular order) Kent Lowe (LSU Basketball SID), John Brady (former LSU head coach), and Jim Hawthorne ("voice of the tigers"). Not only are they hilarious, they are extremely accurate. Follow me on twitter get info from the press conferences around 12:30 central time at www.twitter.com/mattboudreaux.
Thursday, March 19th - 5:00pm
Well it was worth the wait. Despite LSU starting the game with a 9 to 0 run, Butler battled back and eventually took the lead in the second half. LSU did not give up and found a way beat a very young but talented Butler team in a physical game. After the game in the locker room, the team did not show much excitement. I think that has much to do with the way Coach Johnson has taught the team to carry themselves (win or lose). So the tigers live to play another day.
LSU's next opponent is the North Carolina Tar Heels. You may have heard of them. Perhaps it is fitting that on the 100th year anniversary of LSU basketball, they face a team that has storied program of their own. Details on their match up against UNC (Saturday 4:45 cst) and much more on my next blog entry.
Thursday, March 19th - 1:30pm
Thursday, March 19th - 8:00am GAME DAY!
Some random facts in case you are interested:
Greensboro: 260,000 (third largest city in North Carolina)
East Baton Rouge Parish: 430,000
Most notable sports name around these parts: Bob McAdoo (former NBA All-star)
Greensboro is part of the metropolitan area called the Triad, made up of three major cities (Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem) and is home to more than a million people.
Now, on the game. The million dollar question is which LSU team will show up. Will it be the team that lost 3 out of their last 4 games? ... including 16 and 10 point losses to Auburn and Mississippi State respectively. OR. Will it be the team that found a way to win 13 consecutive SEC games. I don't care what your perspective is on SEC basketball this year ... up,down, or mediocre ... 13 in a row is down right impressive.So here we have it. The 8th seeded TIGERS of LSU against the 9th seeded BULLDOGS of Butler to kick off the 2009 NCAA Tournament in Greensboro North, Carolina. It should be a good one. Follow me at www.twitter.com/mattboudreaux to get in-game updates and the eventual answer to the million dollar question.
Wednesday, March 18th - 6:00pm
Setting up Jacques' live shot from Greensboro for 9News at 6.
Wednesday, March 18th - 3:20pm
Jacques and I just returned to the hotel after an eventful day at the Greensboro Coliseum. Press conferences and practices were the story, however those can only be so interesting for a blog.
Today the practices were open to the public, a rare open practice for Trent Johnson's Tigers. The arena holds over 23,000 people for basketball. No, the arena was not packed. However, the fans that were there, were there to see the Tar Heels of North Carolina. Proof of that can be seen on 9 News at 6 and 10 tonight on WAFB.
For a brief period of time I managed to be the only reporter in the LSU locker room. The other reporters were at the actual NCAA press conference that included Coach Johnson, Garret Temple, Marcus Thorton, and Tazmin Mitchell. So I snuck in the LSU locker room while I could. It was so quiet in there you could hear a pin drop. And here I am, the same guy they see on campus, bothering them with a camera and microphone in their face. I must say all the players I interviewed were cooperative. Shortly thereafter a slew of reporters filled the locker room. I didn't feel so bad after all.
Food and drink provided by the NCAA for the media was delicious. They provided chicken salad, tuna, buffalo wings, fruit and much more. Free food is always good food to me. I guess it goes without saying that the hot complementary breakfast provided at the hotel was delectable. Expect another blog entry sometime tonight.In the meantime you can follow me at www.twitter.com/mattboudreaux
Wednesday, March 18th - 1:00pm
Tuesday, March 17th - 10:30pm
Hello there and welcome to what should be a series of interesting blogs from Greensboro, NC. First let me introduce myself, My name is Matt Boudreaux. I am currently a sports intern at WAFB. I am honored to have the opportunity to travel with Jacques Doucet to cover the LSU men's basketball team here in Greensboro, NC .
Jacques and I arrived in chilly Greensboro last night after an eventful journey. First, on the way to the airport yesterday we were directly behind a wreck involving two cars, one of which decided to slam on their breaks on interstate going 75 m.p.h. causing the other to crash into rear of the car. Its a good thing we didn't leave 10 seconds earlier.
Secondly, our plane took a pit stop in Atlanta and as we boarded the plane...sure enough, there were the Butler Bulldogs making that same pit stop and were joining us on the same flight to Greensboro. To be honest, (and this is not a stab at their team) they could pass for a high school team. Out of 14 players, they have four juniors and no seniors. Youthful I would say.
Press conferences and practices around noon (eastern). Check back later for more. You can also follow me at www.twitter.com/mattboudreaux