Hoosier Heartbreak

As the last two teams in college basketball vied for supremacy on the sport's biggest stage, the Ball State community turned its attention to Atlanta.

The Village was alive during the game, with packed houses at the Locker Room, BW-3 and Scotty's Brewhouse. The assembled crowds were largely pro-Indiana. There were, however, a few exceptions.

"I was born and raised in Maryland, worked for 13-years at the University of Maryland, got my master's degree from Maryland, and still maintain a home in Maryland," said Larry Waters, dean of Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Waters said he was surprised Indiana made it as far as they did, but spent one night in particular cheering for his alma mater's championship game opponent.

"I was an Indiana fan for one night - the night they played Duke," Waters said. "I was a Kent State fan after that, and that didn't work. Now, I'm obviously a Maryland fan."

Waters described himself as the "lone voice in the wilderness," sitting at a table surrounded by Indiana supporters. The same scene repeated itself throughout the Village, with token Terrapin fans amid the Hoosier faithful.

"I grew up in an Indiana home and my dad was a big Indiana fan," said Whitney Garrison, a 22-year old Ball State senior. "It's awesome because they weren't expected to be here. It's (Indiana head coach) Mike Davis' second year on the job, and they're already in the championship game."

Karissa McIntosh, a junior who celebrated her 21st birthday Monday, said she was a bigger Purdue fan but was happy for Davis because the Hoosiers' run to the championship game showed he can be successful without his mentor, former Indiana coach Bobby Knight. She also hoped to get a special birthday present from the Hoosiers.

"It's April Fool's Day and my birthday," McIntosh said. "They have to win."

When the final seconds had elapsed, and the camera panned across the celebrating Maryland players, Charles Hawkins, 26, summed up Indiana's "Cinderella" run through the tournament in a way only a lifetime Indiana fan could.

"It was unbelievable," Hawkins said. "Going from a 7-5 record to the championship game, that's what being a Hoosier is all about. You can never count us out."


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