Athletics & Recreation

Men’s basketball in the ESPN2 spotlight

It seemed fitting that the University of Denver campus was covered in more than a foot of snow when the ESPN2 trucks
assembled on Feb. 4 to cover the Pioneer men’s basketball game versus Middle Tennessee that afternoon.

People often associate the Mile High City with snow, and DU has long been tied to sports that happen outdoors and among
the elements of winter.

The University’s 21 NCAA skiing titles and seven NCAA hockey titles do nothing to discredit the narrative.

However, when “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” showed up at Magness Arena there was no hockey or skiing involved.

The scene was lively, especially considering the snow and the cold. DU students were primed for the game, with banners
hanging from the fraternity houses along the campus green that welcomed ESPN’s coverage, sumo wrestlers skiing in front of
the Driscoll Student Center, and the smell of charcoal filling the air.

Prior to game time, some 500 Pioneer students joined the crowd of 6,066 to fill Magness Arena as DU hosted the Blue Raiders and, for the first time, ESPN2 cameras.

This time it was the men’s basketball team getting the national spotlight, and head coach Joe Scott’s Crimson and Gold didn’t let the opportunity go to waste. Led by sophomore forward Chris Udofia’s career-high 27 points, the Pioneers put a 75–60 thumping on Middle Tennessee, handing the Blue Raiders their first Sun Belt Conference loss of the season.

Scott and his squad couldn’t help but be happy with the 15-point win, but for the Denver fans waiting to storm the court, the
wait was almost unbearable. When the final buzzer went off, the Crimson and Gold faithful stormed the floor of Magness in front of the ESPN2 cameras.

After beating Florida International 77–63 on Feb. 11, the Pioneers headed into their final three games as a member of the
Sun Belt Conference, all at Magness Arena, after already capturing 18 regular-season wins, DU’s most ever as an NCAA Division I team. Denver joins the Western Athletic Conference in the 2012–13 season.

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