Bearcats win conference title, take part in March Madness
By Steve Seepersaud
Unbelievable. That's the word many alumni and students use to describe the 2008-09 men's basketball season, as March Madness invaded Binghamton for the first time. By winning the America East Conference tournament, the Bearcats earned the University's first-ever appearance in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Bearcats were seeded No. 15 in the East region, and fell to No. 2 Duke 86-62 in the first round of the tournament.
Along the way, as Binghamton made its run toward the NCAA tournament, the Alumni Association held a number of spirit events. About 350 alumni attended a reception, on March 7, at Maggie's in Albany, before heading over to SEFCU Arena to see the Bearcats compete in the America East tournament. The following weekend, nearly 400 alumni came to a pre-game brunch at Ruby Tuesday in Johnson City; most of the attendees were then part of the record-high crowd at Binghamton University's Events Center, where the Bearcats defeated UMBC 61-51 to win the conference tournament title. Hundreds of alumni viewed that game at Alumni Association-sponsored game-watch parties in New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago and Seattle.
The Alumni Association sponsored parties in Binghamton, New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Albuquerque, N.M., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and Richmond, Va., for those alumni who wanted to get together with fellow Bearcat fans and see Binghamton face Duke.
"You're on the edge of your seat. You've got goose bumps. You've got chills. Every shot. Every rebound. Every point," Brian Wachsman '05, told WBNG Action News. Wachsman is vice president of Mad Moose Saloon in downtown Binghamton and hosted a viewing party (pictured).
"I'm very excited," said Praveen Meyyan '09, at the Mad Moose party. "It's the perfect way to cap off our senior year. I couldn't ask for more. It's exciting to see how they stack up against one of the best teams in the country."
"I don't think in their wildest dreams anyone would've thought we'd be anything other than an academic institution," said Bill Paradis '77, who also watched the Binghamton vs. Duke game at Mad Moose. "To me, it really means a lot that we've gone ahead and combined both worlds. We've got great, intelligent student athletes that play wonderful at their sports.
We invite you to share your March Madness memories with us. Post your game-watch party pictures and videos on our Facebook page. You can also send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for possible inclusion in Alumni Connect or the University's YouTube site. (We reserve the right to reject content at our discretion.) You can see pictures from our events at the Alumni Association's photo sharing site. See more Binghamton March Madness videos.