Friday, March 30, 2007

My Mounties Won the NIT!

My alma mater, West Virginia University, won the NIT tonight in NYC at Madison Square Garden by defeating Clemson 78-73!
It is the first time in 65 years that WVU won the NIT and was particularly memorable for me, as I was in the WVU Pep Band that traveled to the NIT in 1981 when WVU made it to the Final Four of the NIT.

A memory of Madison Square Garden in the 1981 tournament:
The crowd that came to see the tourney was decidedly non-partisan. There were few fans from any of the universities playing, so the crowd was pretty much rooting for any university that picqued their interest.

It is with this in mind, that makes my memory more sweet.

At the halftime buzzer of our last game (the consolation game), many people in the Garden started to rise from their seats and head to the exits for a break or food, etc...

At that moment, we launched into playing an arrangement of Earth Wind and Fire's "In The Stone". I noticed that most of the crowd stopped moving toward the exits and turned around to listen. By the end of the song, there wasn't a single person in the arena sitting! They were all on their feet and in the aisles, shouting their approval and giving us a standing ovation!

Still gives me chills- 26 years later.


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