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Elvis Sightings: Dispatches from the NCAA Tournament, IOWA WINS Edition

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A Hawkeyes win, some Charles Barkley beef, and a Rutgers Shiny Jacket Guy sighting! Living large with The King in Indy...

Greeting Off Tackle Empire!

Sorry for the delay in updates, but Whoa Nellie has their been a lot of action here in Indy.

First off, I can’t tell you how cool it is to have all of the games and all of the teams here in the same place. Everywhere you go, people are representing. It’s really cool to see. And while it’s great to have all the games going again, the problem with having your team play late in the day is you sit around all day letting your nerves build up.

When it was FINALLY time to head to Indiana Farmers Coliseum, I was more than ready. And for me, personally, it was cool to be in a building that Elvis actually performed in back in 1972.

The other cool thing about the entire tournament being in one down is the difference in venues. From the airplane hanger that is Lucas Oil Stadium to the shoebox that Iowa played in, each building is unique.

So a quick side story. I walked into the building the minute they opened. What I didn’t know is that during half time of the USC/Drake game, CBS shot some video of me cheering the Hawks as they came on the floor. Apparently, Charles Barkley wasn’t impressed, as he said I looked like a “damned idiot”. Fortunately, I don’t care what Sir Charles thinks.

That, and Hawkeye Twitter had my back:

So back to our game. Props to Grand Canyon University, who was making their first ever trip to The Big Dance. They brought a ton of students who were dressed up, coordinated and LOUD AF.

Fortunately for us, these Iowa Hawkeyes thrive on that. Joe Wieskamp, Luka Garza and Jordan Bohannon all made their first shots and we led wire to wire. Our big man was the best player on the floor and it was cool to see Luka’s mom and dad watch their kid.

As a Hawkeye fan, it’s nice that our program is finally back to the point where we can consistently win first-round games. And afterwards, nothing better than celebrating in a quiet lounge with a cocktail.

Things got a bit raucous after that as Maryland Todd (aka “Big Whitey”), Michigan Mike and Rutgers Bro all were in celebratory moods. In fact, Rutgers Bro had planned to go back to New Jersey on Sunday, but we talked him into staying and going to the Scarlet Knights second round game. (Which, as I type this, they just lost in heart-breaking fashion. Ugh.)

However, I did have the opportunity to meet the Rutgers Shiny Jacket Guy, so it wasn’t all bad.

So here we are, with Iowa, Maryland, and Michigan left to carry the Big Ten Banner. Gonna get a good night’s sleep and pray to Basketball Jones for a Hawkeye win tomorrow.

—HE.