Kent State Men’s Basketball Fans Fill the Hub for NCAA Watch Party
Kent State University fans who could not make it to California for the big dance had their own party with Hoopin’ at the Hub. The watch party at the Kent State Student Center Hub on March 17 celebrated Kent State men’s basketball team as they took on the UCLA Bruins in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
Students and Kent State community members cheered on the Golden Flashes, champions of the 2017 Mid-American Conference Tournament. Fans at the watch party were treated to free food, music and giveaways. Though the evening ended with a loss, Kent State fans continue to revel in the outstanding athletics achievements this year, including those by the women’s basketball team, the MAC East Division Champions.
T.J. Christie, director of revenue enhancement and fan engagement, described the crowd as “phenomenal.”
“We’re playing one of the most historic teams in the country," Christie says. "We’re competing with them. We were close the entire game with opportunities to pull ahead – it was just a great feeling of excitement for the entire university. You had donors, constituents of the university, families, friends of families. Everybody included in the university came out in full force.”
Hoopin’ at the Hub was a part of the celebration for a number of successes and achievements by Kent State Intercollegiate Athletics teams. Christie says the accomplishments help to bring national distinctiveness to the university.
The Kent State women’s basketball team made it to the first round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. The team posted a memorable season, which ended with a loss to the University of Michigan. The Mid-American Conference named Kent State senior guard Larissa Lurken its Player of the Year and head coach Todd Starkey Coach of the Year. Lurken is the first Kent State Golden Flash to receive the MAC’s highest honor since 2006. Starkey is Kent State’s first Coach of the Year since 1998. Junior Jordan Korinek also was honored and named to the All-MAC Second Team.