Photos Courtesy of Lois Ruffle
By: Lane Fahey, Columnist and Greg Peterson, Sports Editor
*This is an account that describes some of the behind the scenes events that took place during the NCAA tournament.
My experience overall covering March Madness in Greenville has been amazing. The moment I found out that rounds one and two would take place in Greenville, I knew it would be a great learning experience to cover the tournament. I am thankful for everyone that was involved in making this a reality. The first day we were on the job was Thursday March 16, the practice day when each competing team would have press conferences and then practice. We were able to sit in on a couple of press conferences and understand the atmosphere between the media and the athletes and coaches. For Duke’s practice, we got to sit up close and hear everything that the players were saying to each other, which is not a common occurrence, especially for undergraduate sports journalists. Then, on Friday and Sunday, we got to watch all of the round one and two games. The chance to get to work alongside professionals and see what it would be like to go into a career like this after graduating is an experience I’ve learned a lot from. Journalists have to work in any environment they are given and get their deadlines in, no matter how loud or cramped the work space is. Getting the chance to ask questions to legends like Coach K and Coach Williams is something I’ll never forget. Having the chance to have these press passes has led to an increase in my knowledge of basketball and of various stats about the teams that played in Greenville. I even (unsuccessfully) made several brackets based on statistics, thinking I was now an expert. This experience has helped me learn more about this field and how it works, and I will use this new appreciation as my career advances. – Lane Fahey
Having the chance to cover March Madness is something that I could have never dreamed of happening. This weekend is a basketball lover’s dream and has been the highlight of my Furman career so far. I am so thankful to Mike Buddy for pushing for the tournament to be held in Greenville, President Davis for all that she does for our school and for Amanda Richey, my editor-in-chief, for allowing us to have the opportunity to cover this once-in-a-lifetime experience. On Thursday, the day before the first round games began, we went to UNC’s, Duke’s and Troy’s open practices and sat in on press conferences from UNC head coach Roy Williams and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Being able to sit mere feet away from Hall of Fame coaches and personally asking Coach K and Roy Williams a question was a highlight, to say the least. I also had the chance to speak with five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber, which put an exclamation point on the day. When it came to the games themselves, our seats were about 20 feet away from the action. I grew up a huge North Carolina fan, and this was not only the first time I got to see them play in person, but I also got to report about it as well. Having the chance to sit so close to athletes that are talked about and appear on ESPN daily sheds a new light on big-time college basketball as a whole. I am thankful for this chance, and for Lane Fahey and Lois Ruffle’s incredible work covering this event. – Greg Peterson