July 28, 2014
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The best college sports week of the year Sports

The 43rd Annual J.P. Morgan Chase Scholarship Tournament started last night and continues until Saturday. Every four years, RIT earns the right to host the semifinals and finals, which take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Clark Gym will be the site of competition this season. Twelve games in three days. If you are a college basketball fan, it does not get any better than that. Eight Rochester Area schools (RIT, Keuka, Rochester, Nazareth, St. John Fisher, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo and Roberts Wesleyan) duking it out to see who the proverbial King of the Mountain is in the local men’s and women’s college basketball scenes. Both schedules for the week are here. Both Tiger teams face stiff challenges this week, but are primed for excellent showings.

By the way, too bad we didn’t fill the Clark Gym for the Destler Challenge on Sunday. People missed one of the better Division III men’s games in recent memory as seen here. The debate has raged whether the shot should have counted or not, but most everyone in the gym who saw it live thought it was good. To Ithaca’s credit, nobody from the their side argued the call. You can see the video and comedic call of the play here.

Chase week is always one of the best weeks of the year, with non-stop basketball action, interaction with old friends from other schools and the media and the unofficial marking of the halfway point of the season. The Chase is the largest in-season tournament in all of Division III basketball, with several classic games and performances sure to unfold right before our very eyes this week.

Much like the last time we hosted four years ago, the weather will not be our ally. I remember an hour before tip-off of the first game on Thursday, Jan., 13, 2005, around 12:30 or so, I went outside and the temperature was 68 degrees. I remember carrying programs into the gym and sweating. It was muggy in January! OK, how is this similar to this year when temperatures are supposed to be in the single digits and below zero when the tournament shifts to RIT? When I left the office that night at around 10:30 p.m., the temperature was under 20 degrees and it was snowing profusely. Talk about a drastic shift. I don’t think he temperature went above freezing for the next month.

Come out and check out a great week of local Division III hoops.

 

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