Both ACU basketball teams took the court in Moody Coliseum Saturday in front of a nationwide audience.
The men’s and women’s basketball games were broadcasted on ESPN3 because of their new affiliation with the Southland Conference, which gave both the ACU teams and fans some national exposure.
“It was a great experience for me,” said Ethan Chessher, freshman undeclared major from Fort Worth. “I really enjoy coming to the games and cheering and having fun. It is fun to have people watching me have a good time at the game.”
An ESPN truck arrived on ACU’s campus Friday night to prepare for the double-header against Sam Houston State.
“Having the TV truck here automatically spurred interest on campus,” said John Houser, assistant director of athletics for operations. “We sent out pictures on Twitter and we got a ton of retweets and pictures that showed the students’ excitement. Then we saw the student section was about three-fourths full. I think that got a lot of students excited and ready to go.”
The ACU women’s team tipped off at 1 p.m., followed by the men’s game just after 3 p.m. The women’s team won its fifth conference game of the year, and the men’s team fought hard against a Sam Houston State team that went to the NCAA tournament a year ago.
“If you can at least split a double-header, you can walk out at the end of the day with a good taste in your mouth,” Houser said. “That’s something the fans are going to remember. Our women’s team had a good win, and our men’s team competed against one of the better teams in the Southland Conference.”
The ACU student body was able to show its school spirit to the rest of the nation with a student section that had painted faces and even a purple morph suit.
The official attendance of the of the women’s game was 1,250, and the men’s game had 1,500 people in Moody Coliseum.
As a Div. I school, Saturday’s ESPN broadcast will become somewhat normal in the coming years.
“Next year, there will be at least one or two games like this,” Houser said. “I know next year we are on the Southland Conference Network for football next fall. We can look forward to this type of thing every year, which is one of the perks of being DI.”