I have always said that UAlbany vs. Siena basketball is the best sporting event the Capital Region has to offer.  And Saturday night's battle just proved it.

What an atmosphere at the Times Union Center for the Great Danes' 88-82 win in overtime!  There was over 10,000 fans on hand for a game that always seems to live up to the hype.  It's the first win for UAlbany in this series since 2004 and they earned it.

If you've never been to a UAlbany/Siena game, I suggest you get to one.  For my money (although I get in free to the games with my press pass), this is the best sporting event of the entire calendar year.  Yes - it's even better than the Travers Stakes.

The Albany Cup is a natural rivalry between two of the area’s only Division I hoops schools.  It’s averaged over 11,000 fans the last 6 years.  There's just a big time feel to it.  I’m sorry, going to a game with 2,200 fans doesn’t do it for me!!  UAlbany/Siena reminds me of an NCAA Tournament game.

So here's a comparison of UAlbany/Siena to other big-time Capital Region sporting events:

TRAVERS STAKES: Are you going for the party or the actual race?  Travers Saturday is a big-time SOCIAL EVENT – not a big time SPORTING EVENT!! I could have run on Alan Fish’s back around the track and you wouldn’t even know it.  Who won the 2010 Travers? 2009? 2008?

GIANTS TRAINING CAMP: 2,000 people watching Sean O’Hara practice long snaps ‘aint big time.  Standing 500 yards away from the action thru a fence ‘aint big time.  Sitting in 110 degree heat for 2 ½ hours watching the goal line drill ‘aint big time  It’s fun once for about an hour.

RPI/UNION FOOTBALL: It's a game with lots of tradition but it’s Division III Football.  4,500 people go to it.

RPI/UNION HOCKEY: Can get only so big because of space limitations at each arena. Union (Messa Rink) holds 2,200 while RPI (Houston Field House) seats 5,217.  Not everyone around here is a hockey fan.