Students have been sharing their excitement since Saturday, regarding the 14-seed men’s basketball team’s victory over the 3-seed University of Texas.
Since the initial excitement post-victory, students have been able to put their feelings and thoughts into words as men’s team gets ready for their match-up against 11-seed UCLA
Jack Marcelain, senior social work major from Abilene, said that the win means a lot to him as an Abilene resident.
“As a resident of Abilene, this is the most excited I have seen the community,” Marcelain said. “Our name is on the map.”
Marcelain said he believes this win has brought everyone that has gone or goes to ACU closer together.
“This is a good bonding experience too,” Marcelain said. “You don’t have to know the person standing next to you to start a conversation because you have one thing in common, and that’s being lucky to go to ACU.”
To others, the win on Saturday means a return to something normal. Alex Nguyen, sophomore psychology major from Mart, said he felt this way after considering how 2020 was for many people.
“The past year was ruined for most of us, and it was hard to find a silver lining,” Nguyen said, “but for the men’s team to step up and throw down with one of the most well-known schools in the nation gave us that hope and joy of community that we had before the world shut down.”
The men’s win established numerous “firsts” for the program in ACU’s history. Grant Solley, junior kinesiology major from Roanoke, said that being a student at the first time they made the tournament made this time that much better.
“Being here for the first one and seeing it play out is truly incredible,” Solley said. “It set the groundwork for what the future holds and now we’re getting to see the first-hand two years later. Just seeing us win against that top competitor and shut UT down is ‘march madness’.”
Even as students are excited, they understand the men’s team has more ahead of them.
Marcelain said what makes this victory special for ACU, in particular, is that it belongs to something higher than the team.
“What makes it special is that we can use this opportunity to give the glory to God,” Marcelain said. “While the team is a strong factor in moving up the bracket, this isn’t something that the team is going to pull off by themselves.”