Local fans gathered around the D.C. region to celebrate their teams as the March Madness NCAA tournament kicked off this week.
Howard University’s Bison fell against reigning champion Kansas University Jayhawks 96-68 on Thursday — a disappointing loss for the HBCU team as it made it’s comeback to the tournament for the first time in 31 years.
WTOP’s Mike Murillo was on the D.C. campus as students watched on in support of their team.
Excited @HowardUniv students get out of class to watch the team take on Kansas. This is this the first time in 31 years that Howard has been in the tournament. @WTOP pic.twitter.com/JRhO5WDZwm
— Mike Murillo (@MikeMurilloWTOP) March 16, 2023
Even though the team was down by 20, cheerleaders kept the energy up in the room and the pride flowing.
“It’s just great to be a part of history, the guys … they worked hard for it. They earned it. It’s a good day to be a Bison,” said one student.
Across the Anacostia, first-season Coach Kevin Willard led the Maryland Terrapins to victory against West Virginia in a nail-biting win 67-65.
WTOP’s Scott Gelman was at Cornerstone Bar and Grill in College Park when the team beat the No. 9 Mountaineers.
Students stood on tables and danced in celebration, some saying they were glad they skipped their last classes before spring break to see the big win.
“I’m so excited. I didn’t think it was going to happen because the game was really nerve-wracking,” said student Sarah Brant.
The Terps will go on to face Alabama on Saturday in Round Two.