It was 2006. I was a junior in high school and like most other juniors, I was about to make a pretty big decision: where would I be spending my college years?
For me, it was a no-brainer. Winthrop University had been my choice since I was 11 and although a few other schools definitely looked appealing, I always knew that Winthrop was for me. It was the alma mater of my aunt and uncle, and the campus was perfect for me. Greek life, small classes and not too far from home. What else would you need?
Quite a few of my classmates were excited for the prospect of tailgating and attending football games. But for me, that wasn’t a requirement of my college. A good thing too, because Winthrop didn’t (and still doesn’t) have a football team. (Undefeated since 1889, y’all!) Thankfully Winthrop had a pretty great basketball team, and I was pretty interested in the game. So, obviously March Madness was a pretty exciting time.
Let’s jump back to 2006. I didn’t know much about March Madness, but I did know that Winthrop won the conference championship and was in the “Big Dance” (which I just found out that’s what they call it on Sunday… yeah, I’m oblivious.) It was the first round and, of course, the game was being played during the school day. Thankfully I had an amazing teacher who, during our class change, turned the game on. On that day, in that classroom… it was the first time I was emotionally invested in a sports game of any kind. I wanted my school to win SO badly. And as the clock ran down, it looked like we were going to make it to the next round. Until Tennessee scored. In the last. HUNDRETH. OF. A. SECOND.
Disappointed doesn’t even cover it.
(I can’t complain much, because the following year we beat Notre Dame and made it to the second round.)
But, watching Winthrop in the Big South championship on Sunday brought all those emotions back. We haven’t been back to the NCAA Tournament since 2010 and I’m dying to be able to cheer on my team once again. Unfortunately we lost to Coastal (booooooo) but there’s always next year!
Until then, I’ll sport my garnet and gold with pride. Win or lose.
Want to sport your team colors this March Madness? Enter to win a pair of flats & bows from Lillybee!