Students brave rain, snow to secure spaces for home matchup vs. Villanova
Newswire photo by Sydney Sanders | Instead of camping out overnight, students lined up outside Cintas Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday for the basketball game against Villanova. Students waited until 3 p.m. to be allowed entrance into the arena.
In lieu of a campout, Xavier students participated in a lineup outside Cintas Center that took place on Saturday before the clash between the No. 4 Musketeers and the No. 2 Villanova Wildcats. While the result of the game wasn’t what many students had hoped for, the general consensus was that the lineup highlighted the excitement surrounding the matchup and the support for the basketball team.
Students formed a line that wrapped around Cintas, starting at the front entrance and extending all the way to the entrance to the academic section.
The earliest of the bunch took their spots in line around 7:30 a.m. and remained there right up until the students were allowed into the arena at 3 p.m.
Weather conditions forced students to bundle up and battle the elements — a mix of rain and snow — as they prepared for the top-five matchup. One student, sophomore Zach Pottschmidt, spoke about the attire he wore to keep warm.
“I wasn’t really planning on snow that much this morning, but I’ve added layers,” Pottschmidt said.
As the day went on, he put on up to four layers, which included an undershirt, a sweatshirt, two different rain jackets and two pairs of pants.
Some students, such as first-year James Record, believed that the bad weather conditions heightened the sense of anticipation surrounding the game.
“(The lineup) adds to the excitement,” Record said. “I don’t think anyone is going to leave…(There is) a good environment and good vibes.”
Sophomore Alex Brown, a lifelong Xavier basketball fan, believed that there was a correlation between the students waiting in line and the history of Xavier basketball.
“I think it reflected the fact that all Xavier fans have known that Xavier has always been one of the best programs in the country, but we’ve had to wait for our chance,” Brown said. “Waiting in the line kind of symbolized the wait that we’ve had to go through to get to this point as a program.”
For the lineup, students formed groups, which allowed them to share the experience with friends. The lineup resembled the campout of previous years, minus the actual presence of tents and the overnight stay.
“It’s a great time,” sophomore John Simmons said. “Everybody is out here bonding, and it’s great being with friends.”
Another sophomore, Jake Barford, agreed that the lineup added to his experience of the game.
“Overall, it’s a good time,” Barford said. “One of the biggest games in Xavier history most likely is about to happen.”
While students generally expressed positive reactions to the experience, some felt that the lineup system should have been altered, especially given the weather.
“The lineup idea overall wasn’t the best,” Barford said. “I think there probably could have been a better way to do it, whether it be a campout or maybe something else where we didn’t have to stand with all the snow and everything.”
Others critiqued the timing of the process, particularly the 7:30 a.m. start.
“I think it was a little unnecessary. It was a little early in the morning just to sit out here,” Simmons said.
Opportunities for students to experience as big a game as Saturday’s don’t come very often. In recent years, the chances have been limited to one home game against Villanova each year and alternating home games with Cincinnati. Nevertheless, students seemed to enjoy this opportunity to be a part of the greater Xavier basketball community.
By: Luke Feliciano ~Sports Editor~