Where is the student section?

The week of conference tournaments for NCAA basketball is always a fantastic appetizer to the entrée that is March Madness.

This year was no different, and as we were on spring break, we were able to take in a ton of great conference games.

Despite Vermont being knocked out of the America East conference tournament in the semifinals by Stony Brook, I sat down and tuned in to the championship game broadcast between Stony Brook and Boston University.

BU defeated Stony Brook — coming back from a huge first half deficit — and earned a bid in the NCAA tournament. BU is our rival and it was extremely disappointing that they were hosting the championship game in their gym when we should have beaten Stony Brook and hosted the game ourselves.

But you know what? We don’t deserve it. Let me repeat that: We do not deserve it.

I do not mean that our team did not deserve to host the championship game, as we had a remarkable year when most experts thought we’d finish in the middle of the America East.

I mean that we as a university and a student fan base do not deserve to host a nationally televised game on ESPN.

I sat and watched as the BU fans relentlessly willed a comeback from a team they care about as much as social activities, extra-curicuulars and academics. They understand what an NCAA tournament bid means for their basketball program and their university.

The atmosphere was that of any other Division I gym. Despite America East being one of the weakest conferences in D-I, BU fans acted as if the game meant life or death and put their heart and soul into that game.

I honestly can say that had we hosted the game in Burlington, we would not have done the same.

Even if we had been back at school for spring break, we would not have been able to come close in matching the support for our basketball team in a championship situation.

It pains me to write this but it is more painful going to games and have our fan section half full with a handful of faithful fans cheering on our program which happens to be one of the best in the America East.

Thank god the Burlington community supports our basketball team the way they do because otherwise our gym would be empty.

The outpouring of support from our community is what gives this team life.

I can’t blame it all on the student body. Our gym severely limits the amount of students that can actually fit in the “student section.”

It is hard to get excited to go to games when the gym our team plays in is trumped by a large percentage of high school gymnasiums.

That being said, it is up to the students to support the teams at their university. Especially teams the caliber of our men’s basketball team.

So while I am immensely disappointed that Patrick Gym wasn’t the source of the America East Championship broadcast this year, I can’t help but think that BU was the gym, the student fan base and the University that deserved it.