What the MAAC Means to Campus

by DEIDRE LEDLY, Contributor

For devoted sport lovers, this time of year is one of the more exciting occasions because March Madness is right around the corner. For Manhattan College students, this means it is time for the men and women’s basketball teams on campus to take part in the beloved MAAC Tournament which was held from Mar. 1-Mar. 5 at Times Union Center in Albany, NY.

Last year, both basketball teams struggled during the MAAC Tournament. However, both teams this year have been competitive in conference play and came in hoping to be successful during their matchups. The MAAC Tourney is always an exciting time that the teams take very seriously in the hopes of coming away with trophies.

Since these games take place off campus, it is hard for the entire student body to get excited and follow along. Luckily for some students, they get to experience these games first-hand.

Mairead Russell, a sophomore cheerleader, said “Our season depends on theirs so I’m rooting for them to be able to continue cheering with my team. Once their season is over, that means cheering is over for us. There are no other sports for us to cheer for as a whole team.”

Cheerleaders get to see the growth of the players first-hand when attending all of the games. So for them, they are apart of the whole tournament as well.

Russell continued by saying, “I have watched them work for this all season long, so I feel like I have been apart of it all along which is why I want them to do well.”

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Times Union Center in Albany. GOJASPERS / COURTESY

For the rest of the students on campus, they are not as lucky as the Jasper cheerleaders to see every bit of growth up close. Unfortunately, being a student comes with struggles when it comes to the MAAC Tourney. Most people wait to see the results and only a handful of students will intently follow along. That comes with the fact that tournament is far enough away to the point where not many students will be in attendance.

Mike Martello, senior resident assistant and civil engineering major, agrees that he does not follow the tournament that intensely.

“I do keep track of the MAAC tournament and when it does happen, like every year I do hope that we win,” said Martello. “But even though this is my last year and semester on campus, I don’t think I will be following it anymore closely than usual.”

Typically, most students feel the same way. A negative aspect of the MAAC tournament is that it happens to fall right around the same time as midterm exams. So, even if students did want to follow along with every game, they usually cannot because of their studies.

The fact that MC even gets to participate in this tournament that gives the athletes the opportunity to prolong their basketball seasons is rather exciting. Martello does add that winning “would definitely lift some school spirit, I think.”

So, even if the students do not participate in the excitement of the tournament itself, going all the way and winning it would certainly be the talk on campus that would for sure liven up the place in a month that is cold and filled with stress and tests.