Christian Rodriguez, Assistant Sports Editor
With college basketball underway, fans of the Division I game here at Utica College are eager to see what their favorite teams have to show in the new season.
Freshman men’s basketball player Kobe Lufkin is a big fan of the University of North Carolina.
“UNC has been my favorite team for about the last 5 years,” Lufkin said. “They seem to have strong recruiting classes, and I enjoy the style they play.”
Lufkin says that UNC is extremely popular enough to land some of the best players in the country year after year which is why he follows them so much.
“I root for UNC as much as possible during the season and throughout March Madness,” Lufkin said.
Senior women’s basketball player Maggie Tabone is a huge fan of the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s team and follows them closely throughout the entire season.
“They are so dominate,” Tabone said. “They are a force to be reckoned with, it’s hard not to love them!”
As for men’s college hoops, Tabone says she loves the Blue Devils of Duke University because of head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“I have so much admiration and respect for Coach K and how he conducts his team,” Tabone said.
Being a college basketball player herself, Tabone said she tries to follow both teams as much as she can.
“Time is limited, and we (UC and D-I teams) play at the same time,” Tabone said.
Freshman men’s basketball player Shawn Gashi is a Syracuse native and says he follows Syracuse basketball year round.
“Gotta always represent where you come from,” he said.
Gashi says he likes that his team brings in a point guard every year that can facilitate the ball and make others around him better.
“It’s always good to have a point guard who excels at that aspect of the game,” Gashi said. “I also like that they perfect the 2-3 zone and play it 100 percent of the time.”
Senior women’s basketball player Ashley Mayo is rooting for the Minnesota Gophers men’s team this year.
“I’m a real fan of the freshman guard Isaiah Washington because of his style of play,” Mayo said. “I also like the fact that he’s from New York City.”
Mayo thinks that the Gophers are a solid team with a lot of talent.
“I’ve been following them quite a bit so far,” Mayo said. “I think they might go undefeated.”
As for other teams around the NCAA, Mayo says that she only follows them during the March Madness tournament.
UC junior Troy Edwards says he follows the UCONN men’s team because they are the reason he started watching college basketball.
“It all started with the sensational season that Kemba Walker had in 2011,” Edwards said. “That was the season that led him to get drafted in the 2011 NBA draft.”
Edwards says he remembers Walker’s buzzer beating shot in the Big East tournament against Pittsburgh.
“That was the best step back jumper I had ever seen at the time,” Edwards said. “The atmosphere and the intensity of the entire game caught me, and ever since then I was hooked to college basketball.”
Edwards follows the Huskies throughout the entire season because he “loves to see the progression and the growth as a team”
“It’s hard to capture that picture if you only watch March Madness,” Edwards explained.