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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Seawolves Country Riding Men’s Hoops Wave

Do you hear it too? That slight buzz?

That is, for the first time in as long as anyone can remember, excitement over a sports team on campus.

While no one but the diehard sports junkies were watching, Steve Pikiell put together one heck of a men’s basketball team. The Seawolves are on a seven-game win streak, having lost just two of their last 13 games. Stony Brook is top of the America East with a 10-2 conference record. And the team has lost just one game in the historic and intimate confines of Pritchard Gymnasium.

The Pritchard Gymnasium became so intimate that Saturday night’s sellout of 1,630 people included a standing-room only section in the corner near the student entrance. The stands were full before tip-off for what would seem to be the first time. Security personnel were forced to double as ushers before the game.

So it’s time Stony Brook. It’s time to care. Buy a Seawolves sweatshirt. Admit that “I’m a Seawolf!” is at least an indomitable comeback to “What’s a Seawolf?”, if not an actual definition. Learn how to pronounce the names of the players and memorize their jersey numbers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a commuter.

And most importantly, get to a game.

Now is the time. The team is poised like never before to make a run to—dare I say it—the NCAA tournament. Yeah, that one: March Madness.

Coach Pikiell would never say it. He’s taking it one game at a time, as he always has.

But he has this team playing as if every game is a tournament game. He has Stony Brook not only winning, but winning by double-digits. He has a relatively young and small Seawolves basketball team competing with– and beating to a pulp– bigger, more experienced teams.

What stands in their way? Three away games and one home game before the playoffs. The away games are against the three worst teams in the league—UMBC, Albany, and New Hampshire.

The home game may be the single most important game the Seawolves have played up until this point. The Vermont Catamounts, in first place until the Seawolves defeated them on January 21, now sit in second with a 9-3 conference record. But they are forced to approach an away game at Stony Brook with caution, something America East foes are unfamiliar with.

Wolfie can smell the fear.

And should, by some strange twist of fate, the Seawolves not win the conference, there’s always next year for four of the five players in the starting lineup. That is not a team built to win for this year. That is a team built to win for as long as you’re here.

So it is time to take pride in being a Seawolf, Stony Brook. Join the movement now, before anyone can call you a bandwagon fan. You’ll want to be able to say you were there before the championship. Get to Pritchard Gymnasium on February 24. And if you want a piece of bleachers to stand on, you should get there early.

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