Tournament Memories

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Mar 18, 2009 at 11:19 PM EDT

The Binghamton Bearcats are just hours from the tip off of its first NCAA Tournament game.

So what can players and coaches expect?

Action News Reporter Reed Buterbaugh has the story of two former Union-Endicott graduates who played in the Big Dance.

And tell us what the Bearcats should look out for when they take on Duke.

Sonny Spera's Dentist Office is draped with Syracuse gear.

He played for the Orangemen in the 1980s and knows all about playing postseason ball in March.

"The hype picks up a little bit," Spera said. "The crowds are a little bigger. It's definitely a little bit more intense."

Fellow former U-E grad Mike Sinicki took Boston College to the Sweet Sixteen in 1983 and 1985.

"It means more especially now cause there's more hype involved in the tournament," Sinicki said.

The crowd the Bearcats will face tomorrow night will be more than four times larger than the event center capacity.

But with a little focus, BU players can avoid the distraction.

"I don't think the size of the crowd makes that big a difference except for the fact the energy, and the noise and our event center when it's full," Spera said. "It's noisy, it's as good a college environment as any place in the country."

Duke's campus is just 53 miles from the match-up...

But with the Blue Devils chief rival Tar Heels playing in Greensboro earlier in the day, there should be thousands of new Binghamton fans.

"I don't know how many Bearcat fans will be at the game," Spera said. "But there will be plenty of Carolina fans and hopefully North Carolina fans will sort of give the Bearcats a little bit of an advantage."

The players may want to call Sinicki.

He knows a thing or two about dethroning one of the kings of college basketball.

"Anything's possible in '85 we played Duke we were an 11 seed. Duke was a 3 seed and we ended up beating them," Sinicki said.

Sinicki's Boston College Eagles are the 7 seed in the Midwest.

He says this year...he's rooting for the Bearcats...
Hoping they can pull the upset of the century.

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