Volume 92, Issue 82

Thursday, March 4, 1999


No Testa, no title

Murtaugh defines hockey excellence

Pride drives Mustangs to first place

Curlers go hard for OUA medals

Western rewind

Canada's March Madness hits Alumni Hall

Canada's March Madness hits Alumni Hall

This is a cry and a plea for all sports fans at Western.

Beginning tonight at 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall, the men's and women's basketball teams will begin the quest for their respective CIAU national championships.

It's Canada's version of March Madness. But to make it truly mad depends on you – the students. Regardless of how well both teams have done up until now, they will need your help to continue their stellar seasons.

Many teams in Western's recent history have been successful without the support of the students. Still, this is not only a chance to cheer on the Mustangs, but also a chance to see some excellent basketball.

The women will host both the Ontario University Athletics West divisional final and the OUA final. Should they advance they will have home court advantage for the most important games of the season.

The women will take on Lakehead at 6 p.m. and the winner of that game will take on the winner of the McMaster/Guelph game later on Friday night.

The men, who get started tonight, also host the divisionals, with the prospects of facing the McMaster Marauders in what could be the best game this year in university basketball. They have met two times already this season, with the teams winning on each other's court. The rubber match, if it happens, should be a doozy.

For it all to happen, the men will have to defeat Lakehead and McMaster will have to beat Waterloo. Tip-off for the Western game is immediately after the Mac game which gets under way at 6 p.m..

And that's where you, the fans come in. Alumni Hall, as many know, is a cavernous gym and for our teams to feel they truly have the home court advantage, the place has to be filled. Both teams deserve as much.

They travel across Ontario and Canada representing Western both on and off the court and they deserve some support and appreciation. But this is not about berating the fans for not showing up and supporting the athletes of the basketball teams or any sport for that matter.

This is to let everyone know the best basketball in Canada has come to town. There will be more passion and emotion this weekend than there ever has been at a Toronto Raptors game. These games have meaning and if you have the chance to get out and watch them, you will not be disappointed.

For many of the players in these championships, it's their last chance at glory and for some, their only chance. That being said, these athletes are going to pour their hearts and souls onto the floor and they are doing it simply because they love to compete.

This is an opportunity for Mustang fans to get out and support championship calibre teams other than the football team.

If approximately 3,000 to 4,000 fans can show up to Thompson Arena on Tuesday night for the London High School hockey playoffs then hopefully at least half that number will show up to Alumni Hall to support our teams. If you saw the faces of those fans you would have wanted to be there too.

If you do decide to get out and take in the action you'll be in for a real treat. It's going to be fun and it's going to exciting. So get loud and get crazy and lets show everyone what being purple and proud is all about.

John Dinner can be emailed at gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

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Copyright The Gazette 1999