The New York University men's basketball team is headed to the second round of the Division III NCAA tournament after win over Misericordia in their first trip to the Big Dance since 1998. Priya Desai filed the following reports.
Since getting their bid for the NCAA tournament, the talk on the NYU campus this week has been all about hoops.
"The whole week in general has just been exciting," says NYU student Ryan Horch. "Everybody's vibe has just been, like, 'Are you going to the basketball game?' and especially here that's not something we get very often."
The men's basketball team has become big news on campus for making the tournament for the first time in 14 years
"A couple of random people I've never seen before came up to me and wished me luck for the game," says NYU Violets center Andy Stein. "That didn't happen too much in the last couple years here, so it's really exciting to be around it."
The gym was filled to capacity for Thursday's game against Misericordia, complete with cheerleaders, the NYU Violets band, and of course excited fans.
"It's pretty awesome," said student Steven Delianites. "We've been to a bunch of games before and the crowd's been big, but not as big as this. This is the biggest I've seen in the four years I've been here, by far."
"You know after every lay-up, whether we were up or down, every shot we made the crowd went nuts," said Stein.
The team started off slow but found its rhythm and dominated in the second, half defeating Misericordia 84-65. It was a strong showing from a team that few thought would get to this point.
"We knew that our team was good enough to play in the NCAA tournament, and whatever people said – that we were on the bubble or whatever – luck was on our side," said Violets forward Carl Yaffe after the game. "We got in and we were able to prove ourselves a little bit tonight."
The Violets now move on to the second round of the tournament, where they'll face Amherst College on the road on Saturday.