Hatters Lose Game, Win Prestige

Stephan Swenson, like his university, made an impact on the NCAA Tournament’s national stage.
Jalen Blackmon made an impression in the bright lights, too.

For the Stetson Hatters, the effort in both advancing to NCAA Tournament and in taking the court against the UConn Huskies was valiant and historic. The Hatters were playing in their first-ever “Big Dance.” The Huskies were defending national champions.

In the end, the Huskies showed just why they remain No. 1, although the Hatters certainly showed fight, particularly in the game’s second half. Famed announcer Bill Raftery, who was part of the broadcast crew for CBS, said the Hatters “played with dignity.”

Characteristically, the Hatters never gave up. For game coverage, visit GoHatters.com.

On campus in the CUB, students, faculty and staff cheered loudly for their Hatters.
President Christopher Roellke cheers for his Hatters at the Big Game.

Yet, more so, there was a scoreboard of even greater significance. The exposure and prestige gained by Stetson was invaluable, maybe incalculable. As President Christopher F. Roellke had become fond of saying in the days leading up to the game: “We going from Florida Gem to National Treasure. What better way to accelerate that than being part of March Madness!” 

Indeed, although the Hatters lost the game to UConn, their appearance created great excitement throughout the Stetson community and across the country! Hatters everywhere watched, along with fans nationwide. 

The Hatters, in retrospect, won big regardless of the score. And so did Stetson University.

The team returned Saturday night, March 23, and was welcomed home by the Stetson community at the Edmunds Center.

Visit the Stetson website created exclusively for the NCAA Tournament and visit our NCAA Tournament photo galleries.

-Michael Candelaria