Tri-State Area Welcomes in NCAA Basketball Tournament

March 30, 2014 at 11:08 AM

NEW YORK, NY - The sweet sixteen round of the NCAA basketball tournament came to the concrete jungle on Friday night, as teams from all around the country attempted to pursue their dream of winning a national championship. UCONN, Iowa State, Virginia, and Michigan State all battled in out on the hard court in hopes of advancing to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament east regional, which will take place on Sunday.

This was the first time in 53 years that Madison Square Garden has hosted the NCAA tournament. This homecoming made for two electrifying matchups. In the first game, Connecticut was able to hold off Iowa State in a second half thriller.  In the second matchup, Michigan State overthrew the top-seed Virginia in a nail-bitter.

In the first game of the double-header, Connecticut took on Iowa State. Both teams were very well represented in the stands. Connecticut, the hometown favorite had a loud and proud student section. The Iowa State Cyclones, despite being 1,134 miles away from Madison Square Garden also had strong support from their fans. The Iowa States fans painted Madison Square Garden’s stands red with support for their hometown team.  The UCONN Huskies are the underdog in the tournament. UCONN, the seven-seed battled hard against the three-seeded Iowa State Cyclones. 

Sign Up for E-News

The Connecticut-Iowa State game started slow and largely in Connecticut’s favor. At halftime, Connecticut led 36 to 26. Iowa State worked to regain the lead. At one point the Huskies led by 17 points. With just under two minutes left, Iowa State made a crucial three-point shot. With 1:40 left in the game, Connecticut quickly reciprocated with another three-point shot to make the score, 70 to 65 in favor of Connecticut. After cutting the deficit to a mere four points, Iowa State ran out of steam. Despite a good comeback attempt the game ended by a score of 81 to 76 in favor of Connecticut.

Both schools have tri-state area players on their teams. The Cyclones, despite being stationed in the Midwest have New Yorkers on their team. Junior-Forward, Dustin Hogue is from Yonkers New York. Hogue was Iowa State's top scorer on Friday night and contributed 34 points. Connecticut, who had to travel only one state border to take the court in New York, has six players from the tri-state area.

Hogue recognized that he was a hometown favorite, which made him try to win even more.  “To have a chance to play in front of my fans and family, it would have definitely been an unforgettable moment to win in front of my fans and family," Hogue said.  "I had a lot of people from home watching, and to have this opportunity all together is just unbelievable for me. We didn't come out with the win, but to play in the Garden, it's something I dreamed about as a kid.  So this opportunity was special.  I'm happy our guys came out fighting the way they did.” 

Connecticut displayed high energy throughout the duration of the game. Not only was the crowd loud and proud, but also the UCONN bench came to their feet during every electrifying play.

The Huskies entered the game with a winning attitude. Despite being the underdog, Connecticut came into the game with a winning mentality. Before the game, when asked about the team’s chances, former coach Jim Calhoun responded, “I like their chances, they’re going to win.” This confident attitude represents the way that Connecticut played the game.

There were many notable spectators in the crowd, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who told The Alternative Press, “I am an avid basketball fan and I am hoping for a couple good games.” Christie did not reveal which teams he favored but one can assume that by the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Christie will be a proud Iowa State fan.

The primetime event of the night was Virginia versus Michigan State. The Virginia Cavaliers, the top-seed in the East regional was the favorite to upset the number four-seeded Michigan State Spartans. The game started very competitively and stayed close throughout the entire first half, which ended with Michigan State up, 31 to 27.

The crowd was loud and energetic throughout the game. It was evident that Virginia’s fans came in numbers and greatly outnumbered Michigan State’s fans.  The Cavalier fans were rowdy and spirited. A fan exclaimed it best, “I feel like I am in Charlottesville at a Virginia home game.” 

The action-packed competition provided intense offense and high caliber defense. The crowd erupted when Virginia’s Akil Mitchell laid out a block in the second half.  Another enthralling moment came with just under two minutes left in the game when Michigan State turned the ball over and Virginia’s Justin Anderson made a three-pointer to tie the game at 51. The three-point shot sent the Virginia fans into frenzy and created what may be considered a small earthquake in Madison Square Garden.  Michigan State quickly reciprocated with a three-pointer from Adreian Payne. Soon after, Garry Harris sent another three-pointer through the basket to cut the deficit to only two points.  

With just 30 seconds left in the game, Adreian Payne sunk two free throws to give the Spartans a four-point advantage. Virginia crawled back to make it a one point game with 1.4 seconds left. Michigan State’s Garry Harris drained one free throw to make the score 61 to 59.  Virginia had one final heave to try to win the game but it fell short. 

All in all it was an exciting night in the Big Apple as the tri-state area played host to two very competitive games. Michigan State will take on Connecticut on Sunday at the Garden in the elite eight round of the tournament. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


South Orange Police Blotter - Home Burglary and Attempted Burglary on Same Day Reported

January 14, 2017

South Orange Police Blotter as of January 14

Burglary - A Duffield Dr. resident reported that sometime between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 11, actor(s) unknown entered her residence and removed several items, including silver candle stick holders. The Detective Bureau is investigating the incident.

Attempted Burglary - A Harding Dr. resident reported that sometime ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Thefts Reported

January 4 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 7:30 p.m., a vehicle left running in the driveway of an Orchard Rd. home was stolen.

January 5 - Theft; Sometime during the daytime hours, a Christmas light projector was stolen from the front yard of a home on the 700 block of Prospect St.

Temporary Ice Rink Installed in South Orange's Meadowland Park

January 15, 2017

The following is from the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs

South Orange Village has installed a temporary ice rink in Meadowland Park for the winter months inside the tennis court area adjacent to the Baird.

The rink is open to South Orange residents with a current Recreation Department Membership I.D. and their guests. The guest fee is $5 per person per day.

Pedestrian Tunnel at Maplewood Train Station To Be Closed on Monday, Jan. 16

MAPLEWOOD, NJ  - On Monday, Jan. 16, access to the NJ Transit southern pedestrian tunnel (the tunnel closest to Baker St.) will be closed, according to an email from the Township of Maplewood.

The email states that the closure is because "the developer of the Clarus will be making the connection to the storm water system."

As Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, ...

South Orange Public Library Activities - Jan. 13 to Jan. 18

The Library will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Library will be having a Day of Service on Monday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and volunteers, teen-agers and older, are invited to come help paint the walls of the Library Meeting Room. RSVPs are not necessary but appreciated via email ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, January 17, 7:30 AM

Apa Hotel Woodbridge, Iselin

ACG Breakfast Meeting January 17, 2017

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Tue, January 17, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, January 18, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, January 19, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 11, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address two of the major themes.

(Q) The election is ...

Planning for Maplewood Village's Growth

In a few days, the Maplewood Planning Board will continue hearing an application to allow inclusion of a new restaurant in the Clarus Maplewood development. The restaurant is planned to be 4,000 square feet with seating for 150 or more at peak hours. The application brings to the fore both the excitement and challenges of improving commercial space in Maplewood Village.

Two significant related ...

Should You Wait Until Spring to Buy?

Should You Wait until Spring to Buy?

People love to talk about the Spring market, but should you wait until Spring to buy a home? For South Orange and Maplewood, the Spring market usually starts in late February. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros to Waiting:

Better selection. There are usually a greater number of homes available for sale in the Spring as opposed to other times ...

Nutley's Summer Farmers' Market has Openings for Farmers and Food Crafters

January 16, 2017

NUTLEY, NJ -  Greenutley and the Nutley Farmers' Market have open market slots for farmers and food crafters from across the Garden State. The Nutley Farmers' Market operates June through October, but the planning is taking place now. 

This market is the only Sunday market in Essex County, and is the only Sunday Farmers' Market in a 15 mile radius of town. It is ...

Just Pups of East Hanover Caught Smuggling Dogs into Store

January 13, 2017

EAST HANOVER, NJ- Just Pups located on Route 10 in East Hanover was recently caught illegally importing their dogs from Texas without the required medical paperwork on each puppy.

On the night of January 2, the East Hanover Police Department responded to a tip called into the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that Just Pups owner, Vincent LoSacco, was smuggling ...

Standoff with Police in Westfield Ends Peacefully

WESTFIELD, NJ — A woman who police said had barricaded herself in her home with a loaded gun was taken into custody peacefully Thursday night after a standoff with police that shut down the 900 block of Grandview Avenue.

The incident began at about 9 p.m. when police responded to a call to check on the welfare of a resident, Westfield Police Chief David Wayman said at the ...

Road Trip! As New Brunswick Changes, the Corner Tavern Remains

January 4, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Vinnie Inzano has tended bar at the Corner Tavern since 1976, when his father bought the watering hole. He’ll probably continue tending bar there until it either closes or, only slightly less imaginable, a catastrophe wipes New Brunswick off the map.

At the intersection of Easton Avenue and Somerset Street, the Corner Tavern has welcomed travelers from the train ...

SOMA Dems to Hold First Meeting on Jan. 18 at Ricalton's Village Tavern

January 17, 2017

SOMA Dems, a newly formed South Orange/Maplewood-based group focused on grassroots activism on behalf of important issues and electing progressive political candidates, will hold its initial organizing meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Ricalton’s Village Tavern, 19 Valley Street in South Orange.

The purpose of the meeting will be to both ...

Roaring 20s New Year's Celebration Held at Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Residents of the Village Apartments of the Jewish Federation in South Orange stepped back in time at a Roaring 20s-themed New Year's party on December 29. Residents and guests sported period attire while dining on delicious food and enjoying dance music of the era, with entertainment by the Joel Zelnick Duo.

Located at 110 Vose Avenue in South Orange, the rental ...

Teen Dies In First Fatal Shooting of the Year In Essex County; Three Others Hospitalized

NEWARK, NJ – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced on Jan. 15 that the Newark Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force are investigating a shooting in which four people were shot, one fatally.

Kevin Barber, 16, of Newark sustained a fatal gunshot wound on Jan.