People and Community Sports

Final Four frenzy grips campus

University of Miami students are ecstatic about the Hurricanes’ women’s basketball team making it to the Elite Eight and the men’s team advancing to the Final Four.
Student reactions to March Madness, 'Canes advance to Final Four
Emilie Frias and Matteo Claure plan to tune in to the Final Four matchup between the Miami Hurricanes and the University of Connecticut Huskies on Saturday. Photo: Victoria Leal/University of Miami

The energy on the University of Miami Coral Gables Campus was palpable on Monday. The men’s basketball team is just one game away from playing for the National Championship title. And the women’s team finished a historic run to the Elite Eight on Sunday night.

With two major “firsts”—the women’s team playing in the Elite Eight and the men’s advancing to the Final Four—the University was humming with excitement for what has been achieved and what’s to come this weekend.

Julian Chapman
Julian Chapman

The women’s basketball team put up a fight during their Elite Eight game against Louisiana State but lost 54-42. Before Sunday, it had never advanced to the Elite Eight. The men’s team beat the Texas Longhorns, 88-81, leading it to the University’s first Final Four appearance. The ’Canes are set to play the University of Connecticut, a No. 4 seed, on Saturday in Houston, Texas. As students gear up to cheer for their team in its next matchup, some shared their reactions to this past weekend’s momentous games and looked ahead to the upcoming competition.

Many students will be showing their school spirit on Saturday by wearing their ’Canes clothing, and University of Miami gear is the current fashion statement on and off campus. According to personnel at the Campus Store, it has had heavy traffic and is expecting more with the arrival of the Final Four merchandise on Tuesday.  

Junior Armand Ungureanu spent Sunday night watching the game with some of his fraternity brothers at the Lambda Chi Alpha house. He said the last quarter gave him about “five heart attacks in four minutes,” but it was incredible to see the Hurricanes come out on top.

Max Holton
Max Holton

Julian Chapman, a senior studying psychology, and junior Max Holton also are big supporters of the men's basketball team. Chapman said that he is happy “to be able to rally around a sports team.” Both admitted that the teams’ success makes them prouder to say they attend the University of Miami.

“It felt great because last year we were so close, and I am so glad they finally made it,” said Ungureanu, who hails from Romania and is studying finance.

“They are trailblazers,” said senior Emilie Frias, who didn’t realize that the teams had made University history. Frias, who studies community and applied psychology, along with friend Matteo Claure, a biomedical engineering student, have faith the men’s team will win their next bout. Both students plan to tune in to the game with others, either at the Rathskeller on the Coral Gables Campus or at the Watsco Center.

Lewis Walker
Lewis Walker

“I’m getting texts from friends saying we [the University of Miami basketball team] are on fire,” said Lewis Walker, a third-year film major.

Walker is looking forward to the University of Miami shifting to a “basketball school.” 

“It’s all about hoops now,” Claure said excitedly.