By: Julian Guilarte – Reporter
March Madness is a Division I college basketball tournament that captivates the attention of millions, but without a team in the big dance who are the students rooting for here at William Paterson?
Many students have different rooting interests and some of the local teams they support.
“I root for Rutgers because I have a lot of friends that go there and my home town is very close to their campus,” junior Natalie Lardieri said.
Other students support teams in nearby states like New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut such as Syracuse University, St. John’s University, Villanova University and the University of Connecticut.
“Growing up my favorite player was Carmelo Anthony and watching him win that title for Syracuse back in 2003 inspired me to continue to follow and support them,” sophomore Alex Roth said.
Syracuse, St John’s and Rutgers were among the local teams that failed to make it to the 2017 NCAA tournament. Seton Hall and Villanova managed to make it before being eliminated in the first and second rounds respectively.
While some students do support teams in our area, many other students like the traditional powerhouses, which would be Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Arizon, and Michigan.
“My favorite team is Duke, because it was instilled in our house hold when I was growing up. My father played college basketball back in the 80s and knew several players and coaches associated with the program,” said senior Danny Thompson.
Duke was able to make the field but got upset by the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second round.
“My favorite team is Michigan because my parents attended that school in the early 90s during the fab five era and fell in love with that basketball team,” said freshman Peter Festa.
“ I root for North Carolina because of Roy Williams. I started watching basketball when I was 12 and fell in love with the way he coached that team,” freshman Varoujan Jessourian said.
The most unique story of fan-hood came from a Senior student who explained why Arizona was his favorite team.
“When I was in fifth grade our teacher gave each student a random team from the field, and whoever had the winning team won a minor prize. Arizona lost in the Elite eight and although they lost I liked what I saw and still root for them to this day,” said senior Justin Ramirez.
Heading into the Sweet 16, Michigan, North Carolina and Arizona remain while all of the local teams have been eliminated.
The brackets are one of the main reasons so many people are interested in the NCCA tournament, with so many upsets taking place every year almost anyone has a shot at winning.