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MU Basketball–and Its Bench

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.–The most talked about topic on the Monmouth University campus is the Hawks men’s basketball team–and their bench.
For many people on campus, the idea that the men’s basketball team beat teams like UCLA, Notre Dame, Georgetown, and USC is not something that they are used to. For most of the season, the team seemed unstoppable, but that has come to a halt once or twice. With losses to MAAC opponents Canisius and Manhattan, the Hawks are going to have an interesting time earning an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA tournament consists of 68 teams, 32 from winning their respective conference tournament, and the remaining 36 are chosen by a selection committee.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Gaona

An NCAA tournament run similar to Florida Gulf Coast University in 2013 would be something to mirror for the Hawks. Prior to the 2013 season, FGCU did not win a conference championship and had just turned an eligible Division I team only a few years before that. Although Monmouth is much more unique than most schools that usually make the NCAA tournament, there is a big chance the Hawks head to the tournament according to some Bracketology reports thus far.
With the rising stardom of this historic team, the likelihood of the Hawks earning an automatic bid is higher than one would think. In an article by SB Nation, there is a high chance of making the tournament if they continue to beat MAAC opponents. Although every game is just as important as the next, in the upcoming weeks, two key games are against in-state rival St. Peters Peacocks and the tough Iona Gaels.
While making a statement in their first game against Iona, the Gaels are headed to the MAC with a vengeance. After a post-game skirmish, Iona Junior Forward Jordan Washington was suspended for two games. The fight has led to this future game to be highly anticipated.
Although they hit a few speed bumps along the way this season, the Monmouth team does not fail to amaze the nation–yes, the nation. Known for their funny choreographed antics, the Monmouth bench reached out to the country to show that the team is not just good on the bench, but also on the court. Making appearances on the Today Show, Fox Sports 1, and all over Sports Center, people are no longer asking “Where’s Monmouth?” Instead, they are trying to get into the MAC for sold out games. On StubHub, lower level tickets to the upcoming game against the Iona Gaels are up to $250.
As a matter of fact, Monmouth University Athletics recently implemented a new student ticket policy. This policy requires students to use their student ID to pick up a voucher one week up until one day prior to that game. Unlike the previous policy where students just had to show their student ID at the door the same day of the game. For each game, there are 1,000 student vouchers available. However, if students do not pick up all the vouchers prior to the night of the game, they will then be sold to the general public.
At the end of the day, the Monmouth Hawks are bigger and better than ever. If you are not watching on the ESPN app, or heading over to the MAC for a game, you are missing out. They are a sensation and it is not just because their bench is awesome. It is because the entire team is awesome. In just two short months, the verdict will be out whether the Hawks make the big dance. Until then, keep watching the team (and the bench) shock the world.