Wednesday, September 12, 2007

McKillopville Returns

Three years ago, in the fall of 2004, the Davidson athletic department released student tickets for the men's basketball home game against Duke in Charlotte Coliseum.

The night before the release, there was a smattering of tents and students sitting in folding chairs quietly doing homework and playing acoustic guitar. The next morning found a line that reached to Baker Drive for the 8 a.m. ticket release.

Three postseason appearances, two conference championships and one Mid-Major Freshman of the Year later, McKillopville appeared.

This season, Davidson will host national powers Duke and North Carolina in Charlotte's Bobcats Arena. Many national media voices have said that the Wildcats have a chance to knock off one or both of the ACC juggernauts.

By 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, students were already erecting tents and collecting their friend's CatCards. By midnight, the Baker plaza was a veritable madhouse.

"I have been looking forward to this night for weeks," Danny Goldstein '11 said. "I have three basketball players on my hall, and I just know that we're going to beat Duke and North Carolina this year."

Goldstein promises that he and his friends will be decked out in full body paint and have elaborate signs for the ESPN cameras.

Right behind Goldstein's group was a collection of senior students whose enthusiasm was a bit more tempered, though radical nonetheless.

"I am really excited about this season," Ben Young '08 said. "My class has seen some great basketball in our years here. We're definitely hoping that this year is one of the best so far."

The overwhelming amount of energy and dedication displayed by the scores of students erecting tents all over the Baker plaza should come as no surprise after the performance of last year's NCAA Tournament team.

Last year, Davidson set new attendance marks in home games against Charlotte and Appalachian State. Oftentimes, students arriving late were forced to sit near the Belk Arena rafters as many students had picked up tickets earlier in the week.

"We definitely want to encourage student involvement with our basketball team this year," Director of Marketing Martin McCann said. "We have worked out a very good deal with the Bobcats Arena in terms of getting students the best seats in the house."

As the first tickets reached the hands of students in the early morning on Wednesday, the 2007-2008 season officially got underway. It will be one to remember.

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