Now, before even arriving, I had done a lot to set myself up to be in a great mood. First off, I found out about the game and got my wife's approval, as long as her male family members could tag along. Not a problem by me, as I basically black out while watching Iowa sports, so they would provide no hindrance to my viewing pleasure, and I even earned bonus points with the old lady (also, it was nice to have people to talk to during timeouts so I didn't look like a total psychopath as I screamed at basketball players a decade younger than me).
On top of earning points with the old lady, I was also in the midst of a potent high caused by Iowa completing their undefeated regular season. With that, a basketball win wasn't the icing on the cake, it was more a cherry on top of a sundae, as I would prefer it, but it wouldn't ruin some perfectly good ice cream.
We arrived at the ESPN Wide World of Sports about 15 minutes before tipoff and used our General Admission seats to take sixth row at half court. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. Although the game didn't have the outcome I would have preferred, Disney did do a good job of creating a fun experience for the fans.
The key to Disney's success during timeouts and halftime was giving people constant entertainment. Sure, the cheerleaders took a handful of breaks to have guys hold up girls in the air for a while. It is important to note that only Iowa had cheerleaders, because Notre Dame is full of garbage people.
They had fun games at the other timeouts, mostly with children competing against each other. Kids trying to put a basketball in a backpack and then make a layup with a second ball for the right to keep the backpack, free throw contests, shooting contests, puzzles, a race to put on oversized shorts and a Udonis Haslem jersey before making a layup, more free throw contests, and most importantly, a dance competition featuring Iowa's beloved mascot, Herky, who somehow transported from Nebraska to Orlando in just seconds. All they were missing were dogs catching frisbees or somebody trying to set a really stupid world record (my personal favorite was a guy trying to hit the most tee shots in a minute), and they would have had the greatest basketball entertainment of all time. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
And yes, the Hawkeyes lost to Notre Dame, a school that I'm pretty sure doesn't even have a football or wrestling program. They keep running into the same issue where they don't score for long stretches at a time, they make a great second half run, and then run out of steam before the end of the game. The starters played nearly the entire second half, and they just had no legs at the end, which led to Notre Dame finally finding open looks in the final few minutes. But I got to see the yearly Adam Woodbury game where he actually makes shots and gives all Iowa fans hope that he has found his offensive game (maybe this is the year?). Iowa lost, which sucked, but after the high of a 12-0 football season, no loss can really sting me (this never includes wrestling). So if you have a chance to go one of these early season tournaments, I would highly recommend them, just like all the great products sold by Advocare.