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The Final Four: A Fan-tastic Weekend for Gators Basketball

I just got back from Atlanta not too long ago, and I don't know if it has really hit me yet that the Gators have repeated as national champions in basketball, running the school's total titles in the "major sports" (basketball and football) to three in a span of less than a calendar year.

I don't really know how to catch up on so much stuff that happened over the weekend, so I think one of those multiple bullet-point threads would be best suited for this situation -- mostly little notes and thoughts I had from my trip to the ATL and the second-straight national basketball championship for the Orange and Blue.

These are some of my general observations from the weekend -- non-basketball related.

  • First off, I'd like to thank Peter from Burnt Orange Nation for his additions to this site during my absence over the weekend.  Peter is the best we have here on the SB Nation, and his coverage of the Longhorns over at his site is second to none.  I'd hope that one day Swamp Ball could become a close-to-equal site to BON.
  • I had never been to a Final-Four before (I had an exam the day of the final last season, I don't want to talk about it), so I never got the full effect of a sporting event with four different sets of fanbases.  That being said, it was a very cool college athletics experience to hear the different chants, see the multiple traditions and what-not of all of the other three schools involved.
  • One semi-strange experience from the weekend, and I'm sure any Gator fan in attendance noticed this, was how the fans of the other schools really said nothing to our fanbase due to the fact that we all kind of "had a one-up" on all of them.  When I say "one-up" I mean recent history, obviously.
  • Of the three other fanbases, I really got the impression that Georgetown was the most fired up to be in Atlanta for the Final Four.  I had never met a Hoyas fan, and had never really known anything about their gameday traditions, so this was a pretty cool experience for me.  I always enjoy seeing new teams and new groups of fans.
  • For some strange reason the athletic department decided to allot the students tickets for the third-level of the Georgia Dome.  And of course I ended up with a student ticket in that section, and it was very high up.  While I'm with the belief that the students should have been given the best possible seats, nothing could have taken anything away from that experience; Even sitting in the nosebleed seats.
  • On the night of the semi-finals it looked like Ohio State and Florida had the biggest turnout in the Georgia Dome, but that was an expectation of mine coming in.  Florida fans didn't have to travel far, and on top of that OSU and UF have really big fanbases.  UCLA had a long distance to travel and Georgetown doesn't have the giant alumni base that the other schools do.
  • I have no complaints about the Georgia Dome, the city of Atlanta or anything regarding the location of the Final Four this season.  The dome is a very suitable host, and the city is very well spread out with parking, restaurants and everything else that makes for a good fan experience outside of the games themselves.
I'll get more up on the UCLA and Ohio State games a bit later tonight.  I'm still trying to recover from a crazy weekend and an even more crazy celebration last night in Atlanta.

It feels good to be on top again.

It's Great to be a Florida Gator!