Cougar Fans Rally with Excitement for Selection Sunday, Fired Up to Support Their Team

By KEDZIE MOE/Special to

In Pullman, Toddette McGreevy and Teresa Bingman saw Washington State’s Selection Sunday event as an unmissable chance. Since the 1970s, they’ve been loyal fans of the Cougs and didn’t hesitate to make the journey from Pomeroy to Beasley, taking over an hour, to join in the celebration of the WSU men’s basketball team securing their eighth March Madness appearance.

“It’s a rare opportunity, so we had to be here,” McGreevy expressed, highlighting the significance of this being the Cougars’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008.

McGreevy recalled their dedication over the years, mentioning, “Even in the rain, when everyone else had left the football stadium, we stayed.”

Bingman, a season ticket holder, rarely misses a game. She reminisced about attending the Cougars’ Sweet 16 game against North Carolina in Charlotte back in 2008.

McGreevy compared this season to 2008, noting the excitement this year brought due to its unpredictability. “Back then, there were expectations. This year has been a thrilling journey because it was so unexpected,” she said. She praised the current team’s chemistry, attributing it to the coaches’ ability to bring together a great group of players.

The doors of Beasley opened early, welcoming fans of all ages dressed in crimson and gray, eager for the 3 p.m. bracket reveal.

WSU juniors Sarah Ammons and Jack Campbell secured front-row seats near the players’ bench, hoping to get autographs from the team after the announcement.

Campbell, who attended every home game this season, noticed a significant shift in campus energy. “The atmosphere at the games changed dramatically. It’s become a hot topic among students, which is really exciting,” he said.

Gunner Miller, a senior and lifelong Coug, shared Campbell’s enthusiasm. “The fan base and student body have been longing for this moment for years,” he said. Miller, who was seven the last time the Cougs made it to the tournament, fondly remembered watching Klay Thompson play with his family.

As the announcement time approached, excitement filled the air. A fan’s shout of “Go Cougs!” led to a spirited chant, with Butch leading the crowd in a display of Cougar pride.

The team received a warm welcome and stood with the fans, eagerly awaiting the announcement. The moment the No. 7 seed in Omaha was revealed, cheers erupted, and the selection broadcast showed the nation Pullman’s pride.

Pat Chun, WSU’s athletic director, and head coach Kyle Smith shared a joyful moment after the announcement. Fans, young and old, flooded the floor for autographs and selfies with the team, with children enjoying interactions with Butch.

The team’s gratitude towards the fans was evident. Myles Rice spoke of giving back to the community that supported them throughout the season. “It’s about more than just us or the coaches; it’s for the community,” he said.

The Cougs and their fans’ celebration of the March Madness selection was a testament to their spirit and unity.

On Thursday, the Cougs face off against Drake in Omaha at 7:05 p.m. Pacific. With a record of 24-9, the No. 7 seed Cougars are matched against 12-seed Drake, who boasts a 28-6 record. The game is eagerly anticipated, with the outcome likely determining who will face No. 2 seed Iowa State.