With the Bears season winding it’s way down, I decided to catch a game. We had excellent seats on row 2, perhaps the silver lining to the steady decline of the program that has been underway since the departure of coach Martin. Given the sad state of affairs at my alma mater (at least with regards to mens basketball), I decided it would be appropriate to remember some memorable games and look towards the future! The kind of games I long for, where an evenly matched top tier rival comes to down, or when the season is on the line making a case for the elusive NCAA tourney, or bragging rights as the top team in the conference. The kind of must-attend game that draws alumnus and fans from across the state and country.
I don’t have photos from some of my earliest memorable bears games, like my first game ( a thrilling 3pt buzzer beater during the season when the men advanced to the sweet 16). Or the game when Jackie Stiles eclipsed the NCAA scoring record. Or the terrible game when rival SIU stole a last second victory and jeered the crowed as they left the court. This is by no means a comprehensive list of memorable games, but just a few I have photos from. Hopefully my memory is correct on the details…
Back in the SMS days…after overcoming a 23pt deficit to defeat the Salukis, the Bears went on to play in the championship round of the conference tournament. Unfortunately they got slaughtered by Creighton.
After getting snubbed by the NCAA selection committee, the Bears hosted the first few rounds of the NIT. I managed to somehow get an amazing low level seat, which were very hard to come by in the old Hammons Student Center.
We followed the lady bears to an NCAA tournament appearance at Purdue.
A white-out game, the last home game of the season vs Creighton. It was thought that a win would seal our bid for an at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament, but once again we were overlooked while the team we beat was invited anyways.
Again hosting the NIT, it was fun to watch Stanford come to town and get beat down by the Bears.
Opening night at JQH Arena. Complete with a defeat of the ‘hogs’ from the U of Arkansas.
And who can forget this one. A record setting crowd with a close win over Wichita State to claim sole possession of first place in the Valley. Again, no NCAA tournament invitation.