MIAMI, Fla. - This is it. Tonight is Denver's final Sun Belt Conference road game.
There are worse places to end it, of course. The weather has been rather pleasant, despite the occasional rain showers. At least nobody is slipping on the ice, as they walk down the street.
Thursday was another tough one. The Pioneers have lost four games this season in the final 1.1 seconds, but they are learning from each one and making themselves better because of them.
After breakfast yesterday morning, the team checked out of the hotel in Boca Raton, piled on a bus and traveled about an hour south to a new hotel in Miami.
All things considered, it was one of the easiest travel days of the year, since most of them include a flight and being on the bus at least as long as yesterday's trip. This also is DU's first and only combined trip to both FAU and FIU.
The players spent a few hours studying - or perhaps relaxing - before heading to the University of Miami for a 90-minute practice. There was a nice meal at the Macaroni Grill, and everyone called it a night.
Shoot around at U.S. Century Bank Arena is a little later than usual, so the players ate breakfast in the hotel around 10 a.m. and had some time before a 12:35 p.m. departure.
There was the tiniest bit of confusion outside the hotel, because four buses that looked exactly like ours were waiting to take people to various cruise ships. It seemed to take some will power by "The Voice" Mitch Hyder, as he boarded the team bus instead of the one to the islands.
About Florida International - It's been two years since the Pioneers have played at FIU, which means this is the first time the team will take on the Golden Panthers in Miami under the direction of head coach Isiah Thomas.
Florida International is a mostly commuter school with 46,000 students. Surprisingly, there are not a lot of notable alumni from FIU, other than Andy Garcia.
However, there have been some notable television shows filmed on campus, including several episodes of USA Network's Burn Notice.
And, of course, those of us who lived through the 1980s (i.e. - not the players) have made a few allusions to the stylish action from Miami Vice. Well, one particular episode was actually filmed in the very arena that the Pioneers are now practicing in.
Little has changed since this show, "The Fix," which was filmed just after the arena opened in 1986, except FIU changed their mascot from the Sunblazers to the Golden Panthers in 1987.
Yearly travel totals:
Total Flights - 27
Total Mileage by Air - 14, 694
Total Mileage by Bus - 1, 376
Total Number of Hotels - 14
Total Number of Different Airports - 13
Total Number of Airline Delays - 9
Total Number of Cancelled Flights - 0
Total Number of Bags Lost - 4
Total Number of Cruise Buses the Players Passed to Get to the Team Bus - 4
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