Murray State basketball has provided me with some of my favorite college memories.
Not many people from a mid-major conference can say they were the photographer for a basketball team that was the last undefeated team in the nation.
And there is nothing quite like sitting courtside when the Racers hit the game-winning shot, securing a place in the NCAA Tournament.
As journalists, we’re told to be unbiased in coverage.
I may have fist-pumped and yelled when I saw that shot go through. Oops.
Then last year, when the men lost to Belmont in the OVC Championship, all I could feel was sadness and a sense of loss.
Murray had to say goodbye to a group of seniors that won more games than any other group of players in Racer history.
That’s the thing about Murray State basketball, though.
It can really get in your blood and run through your veins.
I didn’t follow the teams until I was a sophomore working for The News, but it didn’t take long to become a fan.
Obviously, having the best record in all of basketball makes it easy to love the men’s team, but I became of fan of the women, too.
I get that people don’t like to watch their teams lose, but I can promise the teams like losing much less than the fans do.
That’s why we should support them and go to more games, especially this year.
For the first time in years, both teams have only one senior.
More than that, though, the players lacing up on gamedays are almost all new to Division I college athletics.
I’ve heard fans say they expect bad seasons. I’ve seen predictions that place Murray low in the conference.
And I won’t lie, I had my own doubts less than two weeks ago.
But now I’ve seen them play. I’ve seen how fearless they are, running up and down the floor.
They are young and they are new. They don’t know they aren’t supposed to be good.
They don’t know they can take their foot off the throttle because it is only an exhibition game.
If they can play with that intensity all year, we’re in for another good year of Racer basketball.
Maybe that innocent ignorance will bring home a couple of OVC championships.
Column by Ryan Richardson, Sports Editor