Want to know what it's like when a smallish-level school reaches the Dance?

I'm an alum of Monmouth University, and twice during my years there the men's basketball team was good enough to qualify for the Tournament.

Since I was a big old music geek, I was the drummer in the school's Pep Band, which meant we played at all the home basketball games, and if we were lucky enough to make any postseason, we traveled with the team.

In 2001 the band went with the team to glamorous Greensboro, North Carolina. It might not have been the greatest vacation spot (no offense, North Carolinians), but it was interesting to be in that environment. The Hawks were the 16-seed, taking on the yearly powerhouse of Duke University. In my memory, Duke went up 11-0 after about ten seconds, so we were never really in it, but at least it was fun to be there.

Then in 2004 we got hooked up with a sweet trip to Orlando! That year the team actually won the NEC regular season AND the NEC tournament, so they were rewarded with a 15 seed instead of 16. Taking on Southern Mississippi turned out as badly as Duke, but at least the Hawk's were competitive in this one until halftime.

For the sake of embarrasing nostalgia, here are some pix of me from those years!

(c) Varacchi
(c) Varacchi


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