Alex Roux, BTN.com editor, March 5, 2018
NEW YORK — It was a phenomenal experience being in New York City for the Big Ten Tournament, with five days of thrilling games that culminated in a Michigan title at Madison Square Garden.
While Michigan was attempting to defend its crown, or while Corey Sanders was channeling his inner Kemba Walker, or while fans filed into The Garden, I was roaming the floor, concourse and bowels of the World's Most Famous Arena to find some added flavor for BTN's social and digital media coverage. Each day provided many interesting and noteworthy moments. The games started Wednesday, but BTN's Big Apple festivities kicked off earlier in the week.
Below are the best moments I encountered during the week in New York City.
Monday: B1G Directional Sign
My Twitter mentions became engulfed in flames when this tweet featuring a promotional sign on Sixth Avenue in NYC was tweeted, bringing out both positive reviews and complaints that the tournament was too far away. Any publicity is good publicity, right?
Tuesday: Mascots get ball stuck at court refurbishment
BTN executed a really cool initiative in conjunction with the NYC Park District, refurbishing an outdoor basketball court under the Triborough Bridge in Queens. The Big Ten mascots were in attendance for the unveiling, and they ran into a bit of trouble when one of their basketballs got stuck in the new hoop.
Wednesday: Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Hamilton is in Times Square
Okay, so this one doesn't really have anything to do with the tournament, but it was still cool. Following the opening night of hoops at The Garden, it turned out that Olympic curler Matt Hamilton was hanging out at a restaurant next to our Times Square hotel enjoying a late night meal. He was extremely outgoing and even let me hold his gold medal that he won a couple of weeks ago in PyeongChang.
Thursday: Kim Garner dances in her postgame interview
Big Ten fans have gotten to know Kim Garner throughout her son Shep's four-year career at Penn State, and the professional jazz singer and absolute riot was in postseason form following the Nittany Lions' win over Northwestern. Break it down, Mama Garner!
Friday: Tyler Trent Battles Cancer and Covers Purdue
The most inspirational moment of the tournament came when I met Purdue student reporter Tyler Trent, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments for bone cancer and is coming off back surgery a week ago. Watch Tyler's story below:
Saturday: Matt Haarms watches Carsen Edwards clip telling him to chill out
Purdue's Matt Haarms is known as an excitable fellow, and teammate Carsen Edwards told him to cool it after he got T'd up during Saturday's semifinal vs. Penn State. Haarms didn't even realize what had happened until he watched the clip in the locker room postgame, and he was certainly amused.
Sunday: Red Panda
Two words: Red Panda. That is all.