Having a friend who lives in the Gainesville, FL, area, has led to my becoming somewhat of an honorary Gator fan. Also, because I saw the Gators play while I was down in Florida for my friend’s wedding in November, this year marks the first time since 1996 that I went to a game in which the eventual national champion played during that season. Ten years ago, it was Kentucky, which played Rider in the December 1995 en route to beating Syracuse in the ’96 NCAA Tournament final at the end of that season.
Another reason I’m happy Florida won? Well, the Gators’ Joakim Noah played his prep school ball at Lawrenceville School, just down the road and across the street from Rider’s main campus. Now, I just wish I had gone to go see him play while he was there.