Though the glass slipper may not have fit for Belmont this year, if there were a competition for the teams with the most heart, spirit and devoted fans - the Bruins would certainly be in the finals.
Coming into Tar Heel country, there was certainly a sea of sky blue in the LJVM Coliseum as so many fans were expectantly awaiting to watch their team in the evening session of the first round games in Winston-Salem. As Belmont fans filled up their corner of the arena, the sky blue began to be overtaken by a sea of red. Fans were bombarded with the same question - "Where is Belmont?"
And even though they didn't know about Belmont's spot in Nashville and growing impact nationwide, by the end of the game, though it ended in defeat, those same Tar Heel fans cheered and stood with Belmont like they have followed them for years. They knew Belmont's cheers, chants and songs and groaned with the rest of us when a bad call - in our opinions - was made against the Bruins.
As we left the arena, heads held high, proud of our men's valiant effort, we were congratulated, encouraged and high-fived for our team's performance and presence in the tournament.
At a dinner with Belmont staff, alumni and friends after the game, the group recounted their favorite moments from the day and one memory stood out for everyone. As the Georgetown Hoyas' fans were being outmatched by Belmont's growing number of fans by the minute, they began a chant - "Where is Belmont?" - with hopes of silencing the crowd. With not a moment's pause, the Belmont cheering section answered back - "What's a Hoya?" The gymnasium erupted in cheers and applause - and silenced Georgetown fans.
We still don't know what a Hoya is. But they certainly know what a Bruin is - and how proud we all are to be one.
- Amanda Wheeler, Editor, Circle Magazine