Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

washingtonpost OP t1_j9g2s4e wrote

From reporter Scott Allen:

Early in his quest to see every Division I men’s college basketball team play in person, Craig Caswell resolved that he would travel to see the last school play at home. Caswell’s wife and most frequent travel companion, Jaclyn Meyer, lobbied to finish the journey in Hawaii, but when the Rainbow Warriors played a nonconference game at Illinois in November 2019 — the program’s farthest trip east in more than a decade — Caswell, who lives outside Dayton, Ohio, decided the opportunity to cross another team off his list without getting on a plane was too good to pass up.

Hawaii, which lost to the Fighting Illini that night, was the 330th Division I team Caswell saw play. Three years and 34 teams later, Caswell completed his quest Saturday at Bender Arena, where he watched American lose to visiting Lehigh with Meyer, his mother and his brother by his side.

“This feels more like a milestone than a conclusion,” Caswell wrote in an email Sunday. “I’ll still go to more basketball games this season and beyond, only now with a fresh air of confidence with this achievement under my belt.”

Caswell’s college basketball odyssey spanned 21 years and took him to 442 games in 131 venues. The first Division I college basketball game he attended was Dayton’s 83-59 rout of George Washington on Jan. 9, 2002, at UD Arena. It was his second game, as a wide-eyed freshman at Bowling Green nearly seven years later, that lit the spark for his impressive and unusual quest.

A Detroit Pistons fan who didn’t pay much attention to college hoops growing up, Caswell, 32, walked into Bowling Green’s Anderson Arena for the first time in the fall of 2008 and grabbed a seat in the front row for a game against Wayne State. He felt a bit like Spike Lee sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden, and he was hooked. Caswell went to most of the Falcons’ home games that season and again as a sophomore, when he made trips to see games at Wright State, Akron and Kent State.

The quest entered Caswell’s mind during his junior year.

“I thought: ‘I love to travel, and I love college basketball. How feasible would it be to see every team in Division I?’ ” he said. “I was determined to basically consume as much college basketball as I could going forward. All the years since have involved a lot of deliberate planning to try to achieve that goal.”

Read more about Caswell's cross-country journey here, and skip the paywall with email registration: