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9K rally for Spartans at Breslin Center

April 6, 2009

A crowd of about 9,000 fans gathered at Breslin Center for a special viewing party tonight to watch the men’s basketball team vie for the national title against North Carolina via a video feed from Detroit. Izzone cheers started off strong among the crowd as the game kicked off, but died down by halfway through the first half before picking up again as the MSU men’s basketball team headed to the locker room. Despite efforts to keep hopes high, fans started leaving with as much as seven minutes to go in the game. The MSU men’s basketball team just couldn’t find a rhythm to secure the win. A somber crowd left Breslin after the game, devastation filling the air.

Fans chanted Izzone cheers and attempted to keep spirits high as the squeaking of the players’ shoes echoed throughout Breslin Center.

Except this time, all eyes were intently staring at a video feed high above the basketball court, bringing to campus the sights and sounds of the game in Detroit.

A crowd of about 9,000 fans gathered at Breslin Center for a special viewing party Monday night to watch the MSU men’s basketball team compete for the national championship against North Carolina.

The thousands of fans lined up outside Breslin Center about an hour and a half before doors opened at 8:15 p.m.

Fans displayed a variety of green and white attire, from painted bodies to beads and Spartans helmets, and the sense of community around Breslin Center was infectious.

“It’s really great to see a variety of Spartan fans together,” said Nancy Yeadon, senior event coordinator for Breslin Center. “It really is a true hodgepodge of the community.”

By 9:40 p.m., officials had to open the upper bowl to accommodate the crowd, since the lower bowl had filled to capacity.

Cheers started off strong among the crowd as the game kicked off, but died down by halfway through the first half before picking up again as the MSU men’s basketball team headed to the locker room.

Despite the Spartans being down by more than 20 points at halftime and some fans leaving, the remaining crowd still exuded support.

“I am here to support the team and be around other Spartan fans,” theater sophomore Tom Brennan said.

Cheerleaders came onto the floor during commercials, performing back flips and escalating chants such as, “Go Green! Go White!”

After almost every shot, fans were crossing their fingers hoping MSU would pull ahead.

But despite the best efforts of students to keep the community’s hopes high, fans started leaving with as much as seven minutes to go in the game.

The MSU men’s basketball team couldn’t find a rhythm to secure the win. Devastation filled the air.

“There’s a big cloud over our state right now,” communication junior Erika Weadock said.

While Weadock said it was hard to watch the team end the season with a loss in the national championship, she said the Spartans had a great run.

“Even though they haven’t had the best game, we’re still behind them 100 percent,” Weadock said.

Brian Holowecky, a first-year student in the college of human medicine, agreed. While he said he wished the Spartans would have done better, he said MSU’s run was something the state could celebrate.

“This is one of the best things that has happened to us,” Holowecky said.

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