By Cody Straub, Simon Zimmerman and David Mohimani
Penn Manor High School has a buzz surrounding it. Why? Because it’s that time of year again. No, not Saint Patrick’s Day weekend. It’s the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and, as Dick Vitale would say, ” It awesome baby! With a capital A!” March Madness is back, and the students of Penn Manor are ready for the most drama-filled weekend in sports.
With the toss of the basketball at 12:15 on Thursday, March Madness began with West Virginia vs. Clemson.
Why is everyone so excited for the tournament? It’s the passion of the players who want to make it to the Final Four in Houston makes this tournament great. It’s for the non-stop basketball, the suspense of not only the games, but if your bracket will be correct.
“When March Madness comes around it feels like a second Christmas,” said junior Alex Kirk.
The game everyone was waiting for was the Penn State vs. Temple game at 2:10 on Thursday. For Penn State fans, it’s a welcome change to see the basketball team making some noise in March instead of just the football team in the fall.
Before the game there was buzz around the high school about being able to witness Penn State basketball in the national spotlight, a very rare occasion compared to its football team.
“I’m excited for it(the Penn State game) because I’m looking forward to watching Penn State basketball for once,” said senior Josh Carle.
Unfortunately for the Lions and their fans, it was an early exit when they lost to Temple 66-64, on a last-second shot.
Just making the tournament is a huge accomplishment for Penn State who is in the tournament for the first time since the 2000-2001 season. The main reason for their return is Talor Battle. Battle averaged 20.1 points per game this season, and made countless big shots to help the team get the wins it needed to get a bid for the Big Dance.
Kirk made a bold and incorrect prediction for the game.
“Penn State is gong to win because of Talor Battle,” said Kirk.
Other students weren’t as optimistic of Penn State pulling off the upset as a 10 seed over 7 seeded Temple.
“They used up all their magic in the Big Ten Tournament,” said senior Peter Horning.
It looks like all the last second magic was left at home for the Lions.
Even though Penn State had the majority of Penn Manor on their side, because it’s a battle of two local teams, some were rooting for Temple, and others were indifferent and just excited to watch the local teams square off.
“I was excited to watch the two local teams go at it, I just wanted to see a good game,” said junior James Servansky.
The Penn State-Temple game won’t be the only game students tune into as the tournament is just getting started, continues all weekend, and the next two weekends as well.
No matter who you root for, March Madness is the greatest time of year for all college basketball fans. So sit back relax and enjoy the madness.