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This Date in IUBB History: Indiana 74 Duke 73 (2002)


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I was there corner-court. So hard to believe that was 18 years ago!
My sister-in-law's wedding was the next day and I called my wife after the game so excited. She said "you want to stay for tomorrow's game don't you?" to which I obviously said YES! She said "Brenda will understand." A little context - it was her second marriage and I had attended the first. my reply to my wife was, "we already got her a toaster!" LOL

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25 minutes ago, eddy4iu said:

I was there corner-court. So hard to believe that was 18 years ago!
My sister-in-law's wedding was the next day and I called my wife after the game so excited. She said "you want to stay for tomorrow's game don't you?" to which I obviously said YES! She said "Brenda will understand." A little context - it was her second marriage and I had attended the first. my reply to my wife was, "we already got her a toaster!" LOL

My best friend called me and said he and his dad and brother were going and wanted me to go. It was a last minute thing. I was a first year teacher and did not realise how easy to would be to go but unfortunately I could not take any days that extend a break and Spring break was about to start. The 3 of them went to Atlanta to the FF. I wish would have gone but 1 year later his father passed away and I know what it meant for them to see the Hoosiers. 

PS my friend was a PU grad but IU lover and served 3 tours in Afghanistan as a Captain in the US army engineer corp. 

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1 minute ago, Billingsley99 said:

My best friend called me and said he and his dad and brother were going and wanted me to go. It was a last minute thing. I was a first year teacher and did not realise how easy to would be to go but unfortunately I could not take any days that extend a break and Spring break was about to start. The 3 of them went to Atlanta to the FF. I wish would have gone but 1 year later his father passed away and I know what it meant for them to see the Hoosiers. 

PS my friend was a PU grad but IU lover and served 3 tours in Afghanistan as a Captain in the US army engineer corp. 

I went to the Final 4 in Atlanta too.  I vowed to myself at the time that I would NEVER miss another F4 with IU in it - so far I haven't. 🙄

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29 minutes ago, eddy4iu said:

I was there corner-court. So hard to believe that was 18 years ago!
My sister-in-law's wedding was the next day and I called my wife after the game so excited. She said "you want to stay for tomorrow's game don't you?" to which I obviously said YES! She said "Brenda will understand." A little context - it was her second marriage and I had attended the first. my reply to my wife was, "we already got her a toaster!" LOL

Setting a wedding date in March?  In Indiana?  Faux pas

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My interaction with Billingley regarding my vow to never miss another Final 4 that involves IU reminded me of another experience I had at that Final 4 in Atlanta - I got my tickets lifted pre-game.  I documented the experience for furure reference and thought I'd share during this time of extreme boredom.  Warning - it is rather LOOOONG!

Here it is:

2002 NCAA Final 4 Stolen Tickets Saga

 After witnessing IU’s unexpected advancement to the 2002 Final 4 by defeating Duke and then Kent State in Lexington, KY I purchased tickets through IU to the Final 4 in Atlanta.  I met a friend there who drove from the Norfolk, VA area (same friend who had been in Lexington with me the weekend before).  We hit the Georgia Dome as soon as we got to town to claim my tickets – same deal as this year’s Sweet 16 in that you don’t know where your seats are until you claim them in person.  Mine for the Final 4 were 19 rows off the floor at the corner of the bucket!  VOILA – good times ahead, RIGHT?  So we headed straight to the CNN Center to find a bar and settled in at a table just off a humongous center bar.  For some reason there were a lot of Maryland fans around us but that was no big deal because we had Oklahoma coming up first.  It was a VERY rowdy and VERY crowded venue and shouts of “Fear the Turtle” echoed through the place.  Anyway, at one point I pulled the tickets out of my pocket when someone asked where we were sitting – I know, stupid move but I was quite proud of where we were sitting and anxious to share.  I returned the tix to my jeans back pocket and decided I needed to use the restroom (I WAS in a bar after all!).  I left the table and SLOWLY worked my way through the elbow-to-elbow crowd that filled every aisle of the establishment – it was a rough trip to the head!  I eventually accomplished my “mission” and worked my way back to my table.  Almost immediately another bar patron asked us where we were sitting so I reached for my tickets again only to have that “OH SHIT!” realization that they were no longer there!  Surely they just fell out of my pocket and if I just retraced my steps I’d find them on the floor – WRONG!  I get back to the table to tell my friend I don’t have the tickets and I think they’ve been stolen.  He turns pale, a “Whiter Shade of Pale” than me, and says “that’s OK – we’ll just watch it in a bar because I can’t afford scalper prices at this point” – he was correct on that as comparable seats were going for $2,500 -$4,000 EACH!  I replied “NO WAY! - we didn’t come this far to watch in a bar – let’s go!!!!”  I asked a bar employee to point me to CNN Center Security and bee-lined it to report my loss.  The attendant grudgingly took all of my info and filed a Police Report saying all the while “you know we won’t find your tickets, don’t you?”  I did know that but my thinking was that I would head back to Ticket Will-Call at the Dome and plead my case.  I thought an official Police Report would legitimize my claim and avoid any thoughts that I was scamming.  Mike Roberts, the IU Ticket Manager happened to be at the window when I returned and I explained to him what had happened and submitted my picture ID and the Police Report for his review.  He immediately called another agent over and instructed them to reprint my tickets.  He explained that the bar coding on the tickets was changed and that the bar coding on my original tickets had been nullified such that if the perp had not already entered the Georgia Dome he would be denied admission.  If he was already in I might need to involve ushers/security to resolve the situation.

 FAST FORWARD – Georgia Dome…….My friend and I entered the Dome with no problems with the reissued tickets.  We proceeded to the seats only to find them occupied by a guy and a girl (mid 30s, well dressed) and they had those fancy neck-straps that prominently displayed their er,….MY!) Final 4 Tickets!  The guy looked vaguely familiar to me?  I approach the guy and show him my ticket for the seat he is in and tell him he’s in my seats.  He gets a bit of a “BUSTED” look on his face and then grabs the ticket around his neck to prove to me he is in the correct seat.  I tell him he is in possession of stolen property and that if I need to I will get an usher or security person to resolve the situation.  He’s a bit spooked but replies (in as defiant a voice as he could muster) “well, you better just do that!”  I turned to walk back up the aisle to find an usher and my friend followed.  As we got to the top of the section I was flagging down an usher and looked over my shoulder to see the couple who had been in my seats moving hastily along the lower part of the section to another area.  I instructed my friend to keep track of them while I explained the situation to the usher.  The couple apparently didn’t realize my friend had his eye on them because they sat down in another section.  The usher called a Security Agent over and I explained the situation to him and pointed to my friend who had the couple in his sights.  The Security Agent told me to stay put and,after my friend pointed out the couple, sent him to stand with me.  He proceeded down the aisle to where the couple had settled about 7 rows off the floor.  I could see him ask for their tickets and then they stood up and moved to the aisle with the agent. The agent looked up to where my friend and I were standing and motioned for us to come down to him.  We did and when we got to him he said to all 4 of us “follow me.”  He proceeded to lead the 4 of us down to the floor where we literally walked catty-corner across the floor and down some stairs into the bowels of the Georgia Dome.  We entered a locked room where we encountered uniformed police and security agents among several hand-cuffed offenders of who knows what! The Security Agent explained the situation to a black female Atlanta cop and turned us over to her.  She immediately looked at the guy and said “Sir, may I please see your tickets?”  He stammered a bit and pulled his wallet out saying he’s with the NCAA such and such division and they are his seats…….  The cop reiterated in a MUCH LOUDER and MUCH MORE FIRM voice “I asked you for your tickets!”  They both pulled their ticket necklaces off and removed the tickets from them and handed them to the cop.  She then asked my friend and I for our tickets and the Police Report.  We complied; she inspected all of the documents and then handed all of the tickets to me.  The guy started to protest and she cut him short by firmly stating “these are HIS property and he has proven that with the documentation he has presented!  As such, you Sir were in possession of stolen property.”  The guy was VERY squirrely at this point and shut up long enough for the cop to say “Now sir, you do realize that you no longer have license to be in this facility and that I will be escorting you to the exit!”  He started in again and she really shut him up for good by reminding him that she could detain him for possession of stolen property if he would prefer that to following her willingly.  Needless to say he complied at that point and followed her to the door.  She then came back to my friend and I and “released” us to our seats where we witnessed a very satisfying win over Oklahoma and our soon-to-be rogue coach!  

 Later I remembered that when walking to the restroom in the bar I was bumped at one point beyond the normal jostling for position in the crowd and actually pushed back into a person just behind me and over my right shoulder (ticket pocket side).  While I could not say with absolute certainty, I flashed back to the situation and realized he was the guy who bumped me and I’m guessing it was the girl who lifted the tickets.  His behavior after being confronted and inability to provide any details of how he obtained the tickets were giveaways to his guilt.

 Definitely an experience I’ll never forget AND now I always keep my tickets in the front pocket of my jeans with my hand securely over them!  Oh and, I’ll NEVER miss another Final 4 that involves IU – that whole atmosphere was AWESOME!!!!!!!!

 That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Post script.....I have obviously been able to keep my vow!

Edited by eddy4iu
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1 hour ago, cybergates said:

@eddy4iu I remember when you posted that story previously. Glad you were able to triumph in the end. 

I remember watching the game from a hotel with my gf at the time who was from Iowa and not a basketball fan at all. The game was so exciting and tense that she said she'd be a fan if all games were like that. 

Thanks - didn't realize I had posted it before. Just emphasizes for me that getting to another Final 4 in my lifetime is becoming more urgent with each passing year!

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43 minutes ago, eddy4iu said:

Thanks - didn't realize I had posted it before. Just emphasizes for me that getting to another Final 4 in my lifetime is becoming more urgent with each passing year!

Either that or someone else had a very similar story I read at some point. I wonder what happened to those scumbags that stole the tickets from you. They weren't even smart enough to claim they bought the tickets from scalpers to at least look like victims too. Probably a drain on society somewhere. 

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