A deafening cheer erupted in Gonzaga’s Crosby Student Center on Sunday as students learned the Bulldogs made history by receiving the No. 1 seed in the West Region.
The sea of more than 150 students – most adorned in Zags gear, a few donning St. Patrick’s Day attire – had huddled together in front of a big-screen TV at the student center on their last day of spring break for the Selection Sunday announcement.
“Everyone wants to gather together to find out; plus this is the biggest television,” said Kimberly Maurer, a freshman. “It’s super cool that we ranked No. 1 this year.”
Students too late to grab a seat milled around the room and smiled broadly when they found their friends to hang out with as they awaited the news.
“I just came because I wanted to be with other GU students,” said Haley Nordin, a sophomore. “It’s been an amazing year.”
While there were a few boos when Louisville was named the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament, students admitted they weren’t too surprised, and maybe it was a blessing.
“It would have been cool,” Nordin said. “But I don’t know, maybe we would have been cursed.”
Freshman Catherine Porter said, “It’s a little bit of a disappointment, but we’re really proud of our team.”
The pride was evidenced by the students all rising to their feet, high-fiving and cheering the news of Gonzaga’s seed in the tournament.
“Very pleased,” said Kyle McAllister, a junior.
Several students contemplated how they might go to the first game in Salt Lake City.
“It would be pretty expensive to go,” McAllister said. “I’d imagine most of us will watch it here.”
Freshman Kate Pullen hadn’t given up hope. “If there was an opportunity to go it would be amazing,” she said. “It would be great to support the team in person.”