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NCAA game poorly timed for Oregon St. students

NCAA game poorly timed for OSU students

For many Beavers fans, Sunday’s announcement that the Oregon State University men’s basketball team would be competing in the NCAA tournament was something for which they'd waited decades.

But for many OSU students, the day was notable for another reason: It was the day before finals week started. More than 60 students on campus studying Monday morning told the Gazette-Times they hadn’t even considered traveling to Oklahoma for the Beavers' opening game against Virginia Commonwealth University Friday.

In fact, many students were unaware that OSU was even competing in the tournament.

Others told the Gazette-Times that the Beavers' Friday game in Oklahoma City was a poor fit with their schedules.

Josh Takiguchi, a senior in athletic training, said he had would have tried to go to the game if he didn’t have to study for a professional certification exam.

Nevertheless, he said the Beavers' first NCAA tournament appearance since 1990 was “pretty exciting. It’s kind of hard to tell since it’s finals week, but based on social media everyone’s pretty excited.”

Colton Ansberry, a junior in marketing, said he and his father had considered going, but it conflicts with their existing spring break plans to attend a major track event, the International Association of Athletics Federations' World Indoor Championships in Portland.

He said he wasn’t really disappointed to miss the game because he would still be able to see it on television.

He did say there was a lot of talk about it on social media.

“I’ve noticed a lot of Beaver pride,” he said.

A student who didn’t want to be named but called himself a “die-hard Beaver” said finals prevented him from going.

“It’s just hard because it’s finals and plans are already made,” he said.

Another student was so upset about the scheduling of the game during finals week that he burst into profanities in OSU's Valley Library when asked about it.

Patrick Storment, a junior in political science, said he knew more people with plans to go rock climbing over the break than to watch the game. He said that perhaps because OSU men's basketball hasn’t had much success in recent years, the fan culture for it may not be particularly developed yet among students.

“I don’t know if the student body is super into going to athletics,” he said. “I don’t know if many would go (to Oklahoma) even if they had the time or money.”

Katelyn Willis, a second-year student in electrical and computer engineering, said her boyfriend is a member of the OSU pep band and would be accompanying the team to Oklahoma City.

“I know they’re all really excited,” she said of the band. However, she said that the travels have been hard on band members: They missed a lot of the "dead" week that precedes finals week to attend the Pac-12 Conference tournament in Las Vegas, and now some of them will have to reschedule exams.

Willis said students at schools on the semester system don’t have the same difficulty getting to the tournament because schedules at those schools are such that finals don't typically line up with the basketball tournament.

“We get stuck because we’re on the trimester system,” she said.

She said she can’t go, but she’s excited about the team’s success and has been telling people all over campus about it.

“I think it’s still worth it if you can go,” she said.

And OSU students who stay in Corvallis will be able to watch the women's team play its first game in the NCAA tournament; that game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Friday in Gill Coliseum.