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Final word on Buffalo

Eric checking in the morning after the return from Buffalo. On the tournament and road experiences:

The year after George Mason, there will officially be no George Mason. No double-digit seed has advanced to the Sweet 16. Butler doesn't qualify as a potential Mason, and neither does Southern Illinois, both have been legit all season.

There is a possibility that there is another 2006 Florida lurking out there. The Gators were not ranked in the preseason poll last year and wound up winning the title. If my math is correct, six teams still are alive that were not ranked in the preseason poll. Oregon or USC could be this year's Florida.

This was the year of the freshman because of the age restriction, but many of the best college rookies are already done. Kevin Durant. Chase Budinger. Spencer Hawes. Thaddeus Young/Crittenton. Stephen Curry. Scottie Reynolds.

I still felt Maryland would win the game entering the final minute. The charge call on DJ changed everything. Butler finally played like it was November 2006. We're down to one ACC team left, which is fitting because UNC looked like the only true national contender from the conference all season. I feel for the writer who had a laptop ruined by Boom Osby's foot during the game and the writer who had a parking pass confiscated by another writer late afternoon, forcing the coat-less writer into the cold, dark, dank, dangerous streets around midnight trying to find his way back to the sad-sack hotel.

As for Buffalo, the people were nice enough, the food was pretty good, the hotel was a cement mattress, the weather was beyond grisly. The nights I went out, I rated an 8 out of 10. Someone else in my eclectic party gave a score of 1, so tastes vary. Chippewa Street was the best place to go in Buffalo, and I again thank all who emailed suggestions. Over the course of the week, my cross-country contingent and I braved the rain and snow to visit Crocodile, Club or Planet Zero (can't remember name), and festive Buckin Buffalo or something that we turned from a country joint into a old-school hip-hop haven, at least for 5 minutes. Zero had potential but the music could have been better. Everything was good except for the fact that a self-described "chaperone" informed me that my "histrionics were juvenile," which was probably why the individual's presence was required in the first place. I believe I signed one of those confidentiality sheets like they give on Survivor, so what happens in B-Lo, stays in B-Lo.

2007 March Madness Road Trip Grades
(criteria includes basketball, food/entertainment, hotel, weather, intangibles/X-factors, off-court adversity, strength of schedule and RPI)
Tampa 8.5
Buffalo 6.0
St. Louis TBD
Atlanta TBD

On to St. Louis, where Butler will have to play a perfect game to stay with Florida. If anyone has any restaurant/entertainment suggestions for St. Louis, please chime in ASAP. I enjoyed the 2005 Final Four there, for the most part.

By Eric Prisbell  |  March 19, 2007; 8:56 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Next: Little Pat's Big Dunk, other W-S odds and ends

Comments

i feel good about my decision to skip buffalo and instead stay in niagara falls (the canadian side) and frequent the casinos

Posted by: kwamebrownsucks | March 19, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

For those in the know, it's not B-Lo, it's B-flo or Bflo.

As for St. Louis, check out McGurk's in Soulard.

1200 Russell Blvd, St Louis, 63104 - (314) 776-8309

Nice little Irish pub in the heart of Soulard, the french district, not too far from the Budweiser plant. In fact, Soulard in general is awesome; it hosts the nation's second-largest Mardi Gras celebration.

If you have some time on your hands, check out the Delmar Loop. It's a bit out of the way - more towards the suburbs, near Washington University in St. Louis - but it's great. It has Blueberry Hill, where Bob Costas is known to frequent when he's in town to get one of their famous burgers. Plus, Chuck Berry plays there once a month. The street has all the stars of St. Louis on it - just like Hollywood. It also has The Pageant, one of the best places in the country to see a live show. Great atmosphere on the Loop.

Speaking of great stuff the Washington University Bears had both their men's and women's teams in the D-III Final Fours. The women finished second and the men finished third.

Posted by: Incredulous | March 19, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Quite a few places to go on Washington Ave. close to the EJD. The best pub in that area is The Dubliner http://www.dublinerstl.com/

If your bean-counters will swallow the expense, Tony's is excellent. http://www.saucemagazine.com/tonys/

Soulard is a great area for a night out, much better that Laclede's Landing. Besides McGurk's, The Lucas School House is a cool spot. http://www.lucasevents.com/

Another good spot is the Other STL brewery, the Schlafly Tap Room. http://www.schlafly.com/

Posted by: PGCountyExPat | March 20, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

No, it's THE B-Lo. No one says B-flo. Never.

And Chippewa Street is the place to be, but you missed out on Soho (J.P. Losman's favorite place apparently) and Darcy McGee's, which has a Sky Bar on their roof (which might have been too cold at the time).

Posted by: SportsAtRandom.com | March 20, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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