March is when the weather warms up, flowers begin to bloom and summer is right around the corner. It is also the time when the 68 team bracket that is March Madness begins.
This year, Newman got a taste of the madness. The Fugate Gymnasium is NCAA qualified, which allows tournament teams to practice at the venue. There are several different places in Wichita that are NCAA qualified that will also be hosting team practices.
Newman hosted both the University of Kansas (KU) and Seton Hall’s closed practices on March 14. Faculty, staff and students were excited to have the Division I teams on campus.
“It is pretty neat to have Division I teams, the ones that you see on TV all year round, right in our gym,” says Sports Information Director David Rung.
Athletic Director Vic Trilli was equally excited about being a part of these teams’ March Madness journey. Trilli worked to allow the teams to be able to practice at Newman. He said, “It’s just really cool that they are able to practice here.”
Students found the teams’ appearance as an opportunity to get Newman more publicity.
Senior Ashton Anderson commented on the teams using Newman’s facilities saying, “I think it’s pretty freaking cool. Considering the path and direction Newman is going in a conference change and how small we are, it’s really cool that we are able to use our facility for such a huge school.”
Sophomore Carley Sullivan commented on the social media presence Newman is receiving saying, “There were KU players posting Snapchat stories with the Newman filter in them and I know that will bring our school to peoples’ attention.”