WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – March Madness has officially taken over The Hilltop!
While the West Liberty Men’s Basketball team is in Evansville, Indiana getting ready for their Elite Eight matchup on Tuesday, students on campus are getting ready to cheer them on from far away.
The excitement of last week’s win that got the team to this point hasn’t died down one bit.
That’s all they’re talking bout on campus.Sydney Burkle, Student Body President, West Liberty University
It gives me cold chills thinking about it!.Haden Derrow, Event Coordinator, Topper’s Den
It was a thrilling 70-53 win over IUP that sent West Liberty to the Elite Eight.
Hilltoppers fans traveled to show up for their team and brought the energy back to campus.
We actually took two buses of students and faculty and staff to the game at IUP last week and that was really awesome. Coach (Ben) Howlett even said every time he turned around during pre-game there was just more West Liberty people filing in, so it’s just really awesome seeing the community come together.Sydney Burkle, Student Body President, West Liberty University
They’d start ‘defense, defense’ and the whole place would go absolutely wild. It might of been the most proud one I could of been at especially just representing from Topper’s Den for our student section.Haden Derrow, Event Coordinator, Topper’s Den
The “Topper’s Den” is the West Liberty student section.
Derrow said the group has grown in recent seasons, but cheering the basketball team to an Elite Eight appearance really brought them together.
It was one of the best feelings I’ve had yet, just to have the creation of students coming to the games, all of us coming together.Haden Derrow, Event Coordinator, Topper’s Den
The West Liberty students are bringing that same energy to the student union on Tuesday for an afternoon watch party at 3:30 p.m.
Rumor has it a few professors are letting students out of class so their cheers can echo the whole way to Evansville.
There will be food, giveaways, and the basketball game on the big screen.
We’re hoping that all the students come out and rally together for our boys.Sydney Burkle, Student Body President, West Liberty University
So, will the Hilltoppers come out on top?
Absolutely! I have every faith in my guys.Haden Derrow, Event Coordinator, Topper’s Den
There’s also an alumni watch party at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at The Alpha Tavern.