The Guardian

For students and alumni alike, WSU’s big win more than just a game

Brian Patch, Sports Editor

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Last night, the Wright State men’s basketball team punched their ticket to the big dance, the NCAA Tournament, for just the third time in their division one history. For many WSU alumni and current students, the win represented much more than just a basketball game.

Since the game was held in Detroit, Michigan, many fans made the four hour drive to cheer on the Raiders. One of those fans was Curtis Goodwin, a 2005 Wright State graduate. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Goodwin says he had flashbacks to the last time WSU made the tournament, which was in 2007.

“The first thing I thought was how similar the crowd was in Detroit to the crowd in 2007, which is really saying something since the game was at The Nutter Center in 2007. There were so many Raider fans and we were making ourselves known, that’s for sure.”

Goodwin strongly believes the community of Fairborn and other suburbs of Dayton will be extremely supportive of WSU’s tournament game next week.

“I think you will see a sea of green and yellow wherever they end up playing at,” he said. “Even if fans can’t make it, you will see tons of watch parties at Buffalo Wild Wings and places of that nature. I truly think this team and this game will bring out the best in this community, a community that I was born and raised in.”

Even current students found a way to make the trip up north on a school night. The University provided a bus for approximately 40 students at no cost to them. They sat behind one of the backboards with the Raider pep band and represented WSU’s student section.

There were even some students who made the trip individually, despite the long drive and snowy weather in Detroit. Drake Meyer, a senior business major, felt this was something he just couldn’t pass up.

“Being it’s my senior year, I felt that I needed to go,” he said. “I wanted to be there if they made it to the NCAA tournament and have a lifelong memory, and luckily they dominated the game and won.”

Meyer also reflected on the power of sports during WSU’s tough financial times.

“It’s kind of silly but I get emotional over their win. I think this is what college sports are meant for. It’s amazing how a basketball team can give us hope and bring our university together during a time of financial issues that everyone knows about. Even though we go to a school with thousands of people with thousands of different opinions, we can all come together to root for our Raiders.”

The Raiders will find out their opponent on Sunday, Mar. 11 at 6:00PM on TNT during the NCAA selection show. Because WSU won their conference tournament, they have an automatic bid and will only be waiting to see where and who they play.

Joe Lunardi of ESPN has WSU projected as a 15 seed matching up with Purdue University, ironically in Detroit. Goodwin hopes this projection is correct, and believes Raider nation will once again show up big in the motor city,

“Oh, you better believe I’m hoping they come back here,” he said. “If it’s anything like today, their opponent won’t know what hit them when they see green and yellow in every seat.”

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For students and alumni alike, WSU’s big win more than just a game