- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who had somewhat of an adventure trying to congratulate Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on his win last year, missed another connection recently — this time with Monte Ross, the head coach of Mr. Biden’s beloved Delaware Blue Hens basketball team.

Mr. Ross said he got a call from a 202 area code number on the morning of Delaware’s game against William & Mary in the final of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, but he pressed ignore because he never answers his phone on game days.

“But I will listen to my messages. And I listened to my messages, and I had a message from Vice President Biden, that he was calling to wish us luck,” Mr. Ross said, USA Today reported. “Bad move to ignore the vice president. Really bad move.”

The subsequent game of phone tag led Mr. Biden to call Mr. Ross back — from Chile.

“He was at a big heads of state dinner in Chile and he said, ‘look, I wanted to call you after the game to congratulate you because I’m sure you guys are going to win, but I’ll be in a big dinner and I won’t be able to get away,’ ” Mr. Ross said. “So, he did call the next afternoon. When I was in my office I saw that same 202 number and you can guess, I picked it up right away.”

Mr. Biden is no bandwagon fan, Mr. Ross said, but rather, “he bleeds blue and gold.”

“He’s Delaware through and through,” he said. “And it’s great for our University, in my opinion, to have somebody like that to support you and to be out in the forefront and tweeting about you and the whole nine yards. So, I’m just pleased to be a part of that relationship.”

Delaware, a No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament, will certainly have its hands full when it faces No. 4 Michigan State Thursday afternoon. Many prognosticators are picking Head Coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans to make it to the Final Four.

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