By BRIAN LESTER
A few years ago I did a story on a group of University of Findlay students who were planning to create a student fan club that would make its presence felt at home football and basketball games.
It sounded like a great idea. Croy Gymnasium already has a great environment for college basketball. The fans are loud and make the gym a tough place to play for opponents. They have played a huge role in the Oilers' 55-game regular-season home win streak.
But the student section idea never materialized. It seems like there really hasn't been one the last few years at Croy, at least not since UF hosted the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in 2005.
And that surprises me. It surprises me because UF has one of the best men's basketball teams in the country because of great coaches and phenomenal talent. The Oilers are nationally ranked and they have been consistent winners for decades.
So logically, you would think there would be a crazed student section decked out in orange and black cheering their team on to victory. They could heckle the opponent and make Croy an even tougher place to play than it already is.
If there is any week where it would be great to have the students out in full force at Croy, it is this one.
The Oilers battle Gannon Saturday afternoon at home in a showdown between nationally ranked opponents. UF and GU are both in the top 10 and are in a heated race for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division title. To top it off, both teams are jockeying for position in the regional.
You can't ask for a better game in late February. It's essentially an early taste of March Madness.
I hope the students show up for the showdown with Gannon Saturday and bring the student section back to life, enhancing an environment that is already one of the best for college hoops.