Celebrating men’s and women’s basketball

Dear USF Community,

Go Dons!  

I know you join me in congratulating members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams, both of which are heading into first-round national championship play tomorrow.

For the second consecutive year, our women’s team, led by Head Coach Molly Goodenbour, will compete in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament — this year hosting Air Force at the War Memorial Gym in the opening round. The game begins at 5 p.m. PT.

Coach Todd Golden and his team are in the NCAA Tournament — USF’s first appearance since 1998. The Dons were selected as the No. 10 seed in the East Region, and will compete tomorrow in Indianapolis against No. 7 seed Murray State (KY) at 6:40 p.m. PT. USF is also the first West Coast Conference team since Pepperdine in 2002 to earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

If you’re on campus, please consider joining our community at the War Memorial Gym for a postseason doubleheader watch party.

By watching and reading about our teams, audiences across the country — including prospective students who are making college decisions right now — are learning about our student athletes’ achievements, academic success, community spirit, and leadership.  

How much visibility does tournament play bring to USF? The numbers are notable. USF men’s games in early March aired on ESPN and drew more 800,000 viewers per game. Viewership of the CBS Sunday Selection Show on March 13 — which also captured the electric excitement of hundreds of community members watching in the Sobrato Center — historically draws around 5.5 million viewers.
Social media engagement is also extraordinarily strong, with alumni and fans from across the country and around the world following and commenting with pride on the accomplishments of our teams. Comments from alumni like “Hooray for the green and gold!” and “We will be cheering loud and proud” can be seen across our social accounts.

As men’s basketball senior guard Khalil Shabazz said, “We have a lot of history here, and we want to show what it means to be a Don.” 

To the members of both the women’s and men’s teams — and to our coaches — good luck and thank you!  We are cheering you on.
Paul J. Fitzgerald

Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.