Life, it has been said, is a compilation of stories. Although the euphoria is starting to wear off, my voice has finally returned and we have since eked out a win against Notre Dame, the stories from last Saturday’s victory over Duke remain. Here are some of my favorites:

Seth Meehan (COL ’99) saw friends during the post-game celebration outside MCI Center that he hadn’t seen since he graduated: “My wife, Clair (SFS ’99) and I sat in Section 429, in Row P. It does get higher than that at MCI – by a row. The good thing about the seats: a great view to watch the motion offense, the back door cuts, the wide open dunks. But the great thing: being surrounded by Dukies – silenced, scared Dukies. We were outnumbered, but they were in enemy – and, down 18-8 early on – unfamiliar territory.

“Each `Let’s Go Duke’ chant that was shouted when the Blue Devils started to come back in the second half was answered by a successful Hoya offensive set and then drowned out by `Hoya Saxa’ chants by the fans that book-ended their sections. When the game finally ended and the few, the happy few in Section 429, Row P embraced and watched the court fill with Hoya fans, the Dukies around us left in silence. And I swear I saw the fan who sat in front of me sulk towards the stairs and take off his Duke sweatshirt.”

To know Greg Guglielmo (COL ’06) is to know what it means to have a flair for the dramatic. The Duke game was right up his alley: “The first time Georgetown basketball broke my heart was Jan. 25, 2003. Like many other still fresh-faced freshmen, I made the trip to watch Mike Sweetney’s Hoyas play the No. 2-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers. After we tied the game, Pitt forward Julius Page was fouled with 0.4 seconds left. His free throw sent Georgetown fans and players home losers. Since then, every time I’ve watched the Hoyas, I’ve wondered what sort of new, agonizing way we would find to lose. Maybe Gerry McNamara would hit a three at the buzzer, maybe Brandon Bowman’s toe would be on the line. Three years of heartbreak had taught me not to dream.

“Instead, Georgetown delivered its fans the only victory that could possibly erase all of the losses. After three long years, Brandon, Ashanti [Cook] and Darrel [Owens] finally got theirs. And thanks to them, we, the class of 2006, finally got ours.”

You could say that Megan McGrath (COL ’06) picked a good time to attend her first Georgetown basketball game ever: “I attended the game with two friends from my freshman year floor who had never been to a Georgetown game either. Consistently hearing about Georgetown basketball’s powerhouse years in the ’80s made me yearn to experience that atmosphere for myself.

“The entire day was surreal: the 60-degree weather with sunny skies in the middle of January, the MCI Center filled with thousands of rowdy Hoyas. It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences because, really, who would have predicted Duke would really puke?”

As a graduate of the MSB in 1978 (back then, it was called the Georgetown School of Business) and the Law School in 1984, Paul Kaplun has experience watching Georgetown basketball battle to gain national attention – and triumphantly achieve it: “I watched the game from my firm’s luxury box with a number of co-workers. Being there brought back so many great memories: from when I was a freshman in 1975 when we beat West Virginia to earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament, to when we defeated Syracuse in the 1984 Big East championship in triple-OT.

“My daughter Katie, who is a sophomore, got to the MCI Center at 9 a.m. on Saturday to wait in line. I can’t emphasize enough how, for her and the rest of the Georgetown students, this will be a defining experience of their time at Georgetown. They will remember what happened that day forever.”

When Sarah Vander Woude (COL ’06) arrived at Rhino’s 15 minutes before tip-off, the bar was nearly empty: “Actually, it was pretty quiet until the start of the second half, but at that point, tons of students and fans started pouring in. The game became too exciting to sit down, so I stood on my chair. When the buzzer sounded, my mom called because she was so thrilled – and my mom doesn’t normally watch basketball.

“We all ran out into the street dancing and yelling, going up to random people and telling them Georgetown had won. I went home and probably read the AP article 10 times. I guess I am disappointed that I wasn’t at the MCI Center, but Rhino’s had so many Georgetown fans that I felt like I was right in the middle of the action.”

Greg Mullaney (MSB ’05) might be a good person to ask about how John Thompson III felt experiencing such an important day with his dad nearby: “It was a guys’ weekend with my brother and father (Class of 1971) in town. We had planned on going to the game for quite some time, back during the preseason when Georgetown was expected to have a great season; we had seen only glimmers of hope so far.

“At the half, my dad, brother and I all knew that Duke would come out fighting. But Georgetown started the second half as they did the first and sent Duke a message. In the end, Duke’s last fight wasn’t enough. I get chills just thinking about being a student again, being able to rush the court like the Hoya fans did.”

What’s your story?

Tim Foley is a senior in the College. He can be reached at SLIDING HEADFIRST appears every other Friday in HOYA SPORTS.

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