The night it was ‘Show’-time


When you cover the NCAA Tournament, there are usually some pretty cool scenes. Like Sunday night at the Hilton in Omaha.

The Hilton is across the street from the arena where the regional was played Friday and Sunday. After Florida’s win, Kansas was pushed to the brink of elimination before surviving Purdue. I watched the game while eating dinner at the hotel bar.

Almost as soon as the horn had sounded the quiet bar exploded as Kansas fans stormed the place in need of a drink.

Among those who bellied up, former NBA player and current announcer Steve Kerr and former Vermont coach and current radio announcer Tom Brennan. They are two of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet as were their producers.

So we spent the night telling stories. They loved my Harold Arceneaux story. So here it goes:

When we arrived in Seattle for the 1999 Regionals, we stumbled into the media area to see a Weber State media guide. On the cover was Harold “The Show” Arceneaux. The next night, The Show lit up North Carolina and sent the Tar Heels packing.

Chris Harry, then working for the Tampa Tribune, and I watched the game at courtside just marveling over this player. Late in the game, Chris said to me, “Hey, it’s too late to get anything in our papers (it was around 1 a.m.) but we can go to the locker room and get some quotes for tomorrow.”

Since Weber State would be playing Florida next, we both went in search of The Show after the game. In the locker room, his teammates were telling us his performance was no surprise. One of his teammates was from the same area as Arceneaux, so I asked him if The Show was a high school legend.

He looked at me and said, “I don’t think The Show went to high school.”

In the next game, The Show was on fire again. But Billy Donovan’s strategy was to run him ragged. At the start of the second half, Weber State’s players came out for warm-ups but there was no Show. Finally, he trudged out, went over to the bench and sat down.

Someone on press row said, “The Show is over.”

Florida won, of course, and advanced to Phoenix and the Sweet 16. I wonder where The Show is now?