Bringing it Back Home: Reflections on the Big East Tournament at the Al

Sunday morning, Mike Flieschman and I met earlier than we ever had to call a basketball game. DePaul did not play until six in the evening but the game was in Milwaukee and we didn’t want to take any chances setting up our live game broadcast equipment. So, we left just before eight and took 94 up to Milwaukee where we would stay until Tuesday night to cover the Big East Women’s Tournament. For two aspiring sports analysts, this was the opportunity of a lifetime.  Sure enough, our time in Milwaukee was one of the best weekends of both of our lives and some of the most valuable experience of our young careers.

We arrived at the Al McGuire Center at 10:02 AM and apart from staying with the night with friends or in-laws we know in the area, we were there until Tuesday night after the nets had been cut down and the stories had been written into the history books. This years story told the tale of two coaches on a collision course to the title game. For DePaul, coach Doug Bruno had just concluded his 31s season, winning his fourth straight conference title. For Marquette, Carolyn Kieger just finished her first winning season. In just her third year, Kieger had turned her mistaken-ridden freshmen platoon into five of the most polished sophomores in the country. Kieger and her young team won it all in front of the home crowd. Mike and I were winners as well, blessed with the experience to cover a championship game.

As my final basketball broadcast concluded, the Al McGuire Center was flooded with streamers as faces streamed with tears. On the losing bench, the resilient Blue Demons who defied the obstacle of injuries all season sat on the bench, head in hands and hearts on sleeves. On the winning bench, 33-year-old Carolyn Keager wiped the tears from her face having just won a championship with her alma mater. Maybe the emotions were contagious because I to found myself with tears in my eyes as I signed off for the final time for Radio DePaul Sports. After arriving home, Mike and I took the weekend to settle back in and then got back together to reflect on our time in Milwaukee via podcast. Enjoy!

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