EAST STROUDSBURG — March means madness and East Stroudsburg University’s campus is gearing up for a big men’s basketball game Tuesday night. The Warriors are playing for a spot in the NCAA Division II Tournament’s Elite 8 and a chance to make school history.
The hardwood is ready, with extra seating in place, and Warrior Nation at East Stroudsburg University is rushing back in town for the big game right in the middle of spring break.
“We brought my friends came, we came from Philly. We drove up. I mean, they need us there, we got to support, got to support our team,” said ESU Sophomore Nakiya Robley.
The men’s basketball team sits in the Sweet 16 and plays at the Koehler Field House for a chance at making history: entering the Elite 8 with a ‘W’ Tuesday night over West Liberty University.
It’s a chance ESU students wouldn’t miss.
“My friend that was driving was speeding. She was doing 80 the whole way. We almost actually ran into a truck but we made it here safely,” said ESU Freshman Elijah Crandall.
The campus is quiet for now, but ESU is anticipating a sellout crowd to end the men’s stand-out season, at least here at home.
“Win or lose, it’s our last home game here this year and really the culmination of a historic season so we’re very excited about it,” said Sports Information Director Greg Knowlden.
These are the only free tickets available for students to get into the game, the original 300 wasn’t even enough. Luckily the university was able to grab 200 more so everybody can get a seat for the big game.
Resident Assistant Rachel Distefano worked her spring break keeping dorm room doors open for student fans.
“(There are) so many students, so much support for the team. Everyone’s going to the games, it’s been crazy,” said Distefano.
Warrior faithful William Gurry of Bushkill says even the community’s backed the warriors in a big way.
“Winning will do that, everybody loves a winner. So tonight should be really fun,” said Gurry.
Win or lose, the Warriors say this season has been a remarkable ride.