What a tremendous performance put forth by our men’s basketball team Tuesday night in defeating No. 2-ranked Kansas, 85-69!
It was a great effort by the players, the coaches and the fans in turning the WVU Coliseum into one of the loudest, most enthusiastic, most exciting - and most respectful - venues in college basketball!
The students’ decision not to storm the court was also good to see. We have a nationally ranked men’s basketball program whose expectation is to win each time it takes the court - no matter who the opponent is.
Tuesday night demonstrates yet again what West Virginia University can accomplish when everyone is pulling their oars in the same direction.
We saw it with the great crowds that came out to watch Nikki Izzo-Brown’s terrific women’s soccer team advance to the Women’s College Cup for the first time in school history, we saw it across town at Milan Puskar Stadium where Dana Holgorsen’s football team won 10 regular season games for only the ninth time in the program’s 125-year history and finished the year ranked 18th in the country, and we are presently observing it here at the Coliseum as the men’s and women’s basketball teams attempt to make another run at postseason glory.
The announced attendance of 13,694 for Kansas was the fifth consecutive crowd of more than 10,000 for a men’s game at the Coliseum this year, with the promise of more to come with sellouts already announced for the Oklahoma State and Texas Tech games.
We have less than 500 tickets remaining for Saturday afternoon’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge against Texas A&M that will be televised nationally on ESPN, and tickets are also moving steadily for the remaining home games against Kansas State, Texas and Iowa State.
Going back to my days as an undergraduate student in the early 1980s, the overall atmosphere at the Coliseum is as good as it’s ever been, specifically:
* The concourse refurbishments that were made in the fall allowing our fans the ability to move around much more freely
* The potential to order the food you want while not missing any of the action
* The ability to get in and out of restrooms with ease
* The tremendous interaction starting during pregame introductions with the camera-phone “light shows” to the singing of “Country Roads” at the conclusion of every Mountaineer victory
* And, most importantly, the entertaining and exceptional play that is taking place on the basketball court right now while competing in the best men’s and women’s basketball conference in the country
All of these things make the Coliseum a fun place to be on a cold winter afternoon or evening, and continue to be a source of great pride for Mountaineer fans everywhere.
That’s what I have observed and that’s also the feedback I have been receiving from you.
Indeed, there are a lot of great things happening at West Virginia University and I am confident that even better things are right around the corner.
Thank you once more for making West Virginia and West Virginia University what it is - Almost Heaven!