Tourney Time!

This week begins my favorite time of year – college basketball madness!

Basketball hoop
It’s Awesome baby, with a capital A!

Like many of us around the country, my fan loyalty resides with a relatively small, local college that has seen a lot of program growth in recent years – Xavier University. For example, during the 2003-2004 season, the team was ranked preseason top 11 in the country but stumbled along the way and found themselves at 10-8 with a pivotal game against their in state, conference rival. They ended up losing the game and the players held a “team only” meeting afterwards so the seniors could, let’s just say, “focus” the team on their goals. Whatever was said in that locker room worked, as the team went on to finish the regular season with a 9-1 record and win 4 conference tourney games in 4 days (first team to ever tackle this feat) to capture the automatic bid to the national field of 64, where they eventually lost by only 3 points in their first ever Elite 8, to a certain team from Durham, NC. (It was the REFS fault and no I’m not bitter LOL).

In 2008 the team was facing a similar challenge as they had lost several close games and were now again faced with needing to win 4 games in 4 days to get the automatic conference title bid. They went on to secure the bid and were able to reach the Elite 8 again for the 2nd time in 4 years but their run ended with a loss to the #1 seed in the region. The school has now joined a larger conference which is great for national notoriety and recruiting but also brings a higher level in competition, either boosting or damaging their tournament resume.

This year has followed suit to previous years as the team didn’t perform up to expectations and spent much of the latter part of the regular season on the proverbial “bubble”. After each win or loss, the prognosticators would move them from a “lock” to the “bubble”, or even more confusing, “still has work to do” category. All that mattered was just win and let the rest take care of itself. The team did just that as they went on to make the finals of the conference tournament but were easily handled by the first place team and eventually lost.

The selection committee has rewarded their conference affiliation along with conference tournament success and ranked them as a 6 seed for this years national championship tournament (a little high in my opinion but I’ll take it!) playing the winner of one of the play-in games.

Who knows what tournament success or failure lies ahead but that is what makes this time of year so awesome. Even when my team loses, there is always a local team, an underdog or the year’s “Cinderella” that grasps the country’s attention and makes it hard to root against them. Since we are in Cincinnati, many of our folks live in Kentucky and the Wildcats prove their wide reach among many of our Ohio based people as well. It makes the office banter and challenges and trash talk more interesting when pitting the hopes of a small “bubble” team up against a behemoth like Kentucky. We would be remiss not to mention the other behemoth with a huge fan base in this neck of the woods, Ohio State. We cannot forget our loyal base of University of Cincinnati Bearcats, who have provided us with some stellar employees, though not much of a basketball team this year (I’m a Xavier fan, remember?). And with the late breaking news from last night’s winning Dayton Flyer team, we have some solid regional representation in the tourney year.

Wow, now that I think about it, we’ll be lucky to survive the next few weeks without a bit of office bloodshed. At the very least, a small skirmish is certain to happen ;-).

Here at EXAIR we have a great team too! From the production team all the way up to management, we understand that we need to remain focused on our main goal – to satisfy YOU, our customer! We are always striving to get better by developing new products, testing existing products or maintaining near perfect (99.9%) on-time shipments.

To put our team to work for you, give us a call!

And to all who may be distracted throughout these next four days – Good luck to your team as well!

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Basketball hoop image courtesy of Steve Johnson. Creative Commons License

Vale, vale — Egeshegedre!

Barco

Last week found me in Barcelona, Spain and Budapest, Hungary to conduct training sessions for our distributors.  In each city we were also pleased to welcome distributors from other countries as well.

On this trip I travelled into Barcelona by way of Atlanta.  The flight was long, but the plane was nice and I caught a few movies I’d been wanting to see.  After arriving in Spain I went to our distributor’s facility which was well equipped for training as well as various product demonstrations.  We brought in the regional sales reps and technical personnel (from both Spain and the United Kingdom) for a full training session on all EXAIR products.

After days of training and many hours of application centered conversations, we joined together along the pier near the Rambla for a good bite.  I snapped the picture above of the view from our table.

When the training was complete in Barcelona, I ventured to Budapest to repeat the agenda with our distributor there.  We were joined by our distributors from Bulgaria and Norway, both of whom were wonderfully pleasant and had great humor!  Along our way to dinner one evening we made a stop at a popular local destination to view the city center of Budapest.

Buda

This photo shows the scope of our distributor’s beautiful city.  On the left is the former city of Buda, and on the right is the former city of Pest.  Now, they are one in the same following unification in the 19th century.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of our distributor involved in these training sessions.  Not only was EXAIR well received, we were and are well supported.  For contact information of an EXAIR distributor in your area, please don’t hesitate to email me directly at LeeEvans@EXAIR.com.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE