Every March college basketball fans around the country thrill to the words “March Madness.” Normally we watch the annual college tournament games on TV, but this year the tournament came to Gettysburg.
Gettysburg College hosted the first round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament. The college secured the hosting by winning top ranking in the Centennial Conference with a defeat over Johns Hopkins last week.
The two-day event had cheering fans, souvenir shirts, and of course some great basketball.
The first match on Friday afternoon featured Baldwin Wallace College from Berea, Ohio against Salisbury State University in Maryland. Both teams brought busloads of fans, and BWC came out on top 66-54.
Gettysburg faced SUNY Morrisville in the next matchup. In my 35 years of watching Women’s Basketball at Gettysburg College I’ve never seen a game quite like this. In the first half it looked bad for the home team. Morrisville was dropping 3 pointers right, left and center, while Gettysburg couldn’t seem to hit either. Gettysburg was down by as much as 10 points at one point, and was behind by 4 at the half.
As the second half opened Morrisville’s shooting went cold while Gettysburg couldn’t do anything wrong. The women hit all kids of shots, rebounded like crazy, and by the middle of the 4th quarter coach Nate Davis had the entire bench on the court. The Bullets won by 33 points, 77 to 44.
On Saturday Gettysburg played in Round 2 against BWC, the number 10 ranked team in the nation. BWC dominated the game and came out on top 66 to 54.
At the conclusion there were hugs and tears from the team, but no one can say they didn’t give it their all.
Basketball will return to Gettysburg College in November, but this is a season that the players and their fans will not soon forget.
Featured image by Pete Vogel