Time to turn up heat in Lee Arena please

With March upon us and the madness of basketball season in full tilt, one hopes that Washburn students will remember to cheer on their fellow students as they compete for a national title.

While many will be glued to the television this coming weekend as Division I teams vie to see which schools will advance to the national tournament, another tournament will be underway on this campus.

The Lady Blues will be one of eight teams looking to take the Southcentral regional crown in the 2012 Division II national tournament.

Unlike in Division I, where games are played at neutral sites around the country, the first three games are played at the regional No. 1 seed’s home court.

For the Lady Blues this is a huge advantage in terms of not having to travel as far. Just in the preseason slate of games, the team went as far away as California and have routinely traveled to places like Ft. Hays, Kan., more than 200 miles one way, to take on every opponent put in front of them.

However, Washburn students are notorious for coming to games during the regular season and texting throughout the duration of the contests.

Its time to stand up and support these young women as they do what they’ve done throughout the season; dominate on the court and carry themselves with class off it.

Despite what Washburn Police might say, the only people who can kick students out of games are athletics department officials. So if the police start getting in your face, feel free to ask to speak to someone who has authority to remove someone from the event. Part of being a fan is passionately supporting the home team. These ladies deserve that so don’t back down and stand loud and proud.

Those that haven’t had a chance to catch a game, a Lady Blues game is worth the time. Not many Division II schools will be able to boast the likes of senior guard Ebonie Williams and junior forward Sierra Moeller, both of who played at Division I programs before coming to Washburn.

Not to be outdone, the team also sports a senior guard in Stevi Schultz who has set many career marks in her time at Washburn. These records include scoring 1,000 points and making more than 200 career three-point shots.

At the helm of this talented team is Head Coach Ron McHenry. McHenry has been prolific at Washburn, having claimed a 2005 national title as part of a vastly successful program. With McHenry steering the ship, this squad which came in to this year a pre-season favorite in the MIAA conference is poised to make a deep run into the tournament.

For the three games they potentially have in front of Washburn students, one hopes that students will see past the $3 ticket price and go support this team. While the NCAA might be charging students, look at it as getting your money’s worth. Get in there and yell as loud as you can.

Better yet, should the Lady Blues make it out of the regional and into the Final Four, think about making spring break plans to go to the warm climate of San Antonio, Texas where the tournament’s conclusion will take place.

Road trip anyone?