I’m a fairly long way from my college days (21.5 years and counting), but like many people I still feel a connection to my alma mater. A lot has changed on the campus … for one, the school is now known as Binghamton University rather than SUNY Binghamton. This is fair enough, though, since before it was SUNY-B, the school was Harper College. Possibly the BIGGEST recent change that is perceivable to those of us beyond the Southern Tier is the fact that Binghamton’s basketball team (and, I suppose, all of their athletic programs) compete in Division I of the NCAA.
This was a controversial decision, and one that has been much discussed for the past 8 years as discipline problems, charges of academic shenanigans, and issues of school pride have been bandied about in no less a forum than the New York Times
The move to Division I means that it is now technically POSSIBLE for Binghamton to qualify for the NCAA Tournament (known to many simply by the phrase “March Madness“) … but it seemed completely unlikely, since Binghamton has a long history of being a school focused squarely on academics. But, as I said, things have changed. And this year, the Binghamton Bearcats (there’s another change, they were the Colonials when I was a student) basketball team is one win away from doing just that.
Tomorrow morning at 11AM Eastern Daylight Time, the Bearcats will square off at home against UMBC (the University of Maryland, Baltimore County) for the championship of the America East Conference … and securing a spot in the national tournament. Not only that, the game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Which means that 8AM Pacific Daylight Time, I’m actually going to be on my couch WATCHING my alma mater play for the first time since 1985.