On March 12, the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were canceled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The Gonzaga Bulldogs had high hopes for success prior to the tournament on both the men’s and women’s side, but they were unfortunately cut short.
If and when the 2020-21 NCAA basketball season comes around, students and fans across the country will be excited for yet another run at the first NCAA championship in school history. Gonzaga basketball impacts the GU culture unlike anything else on campus, bringing together old and new generations of Zag fans.
It will be new students’ first time seeing their school compete as one of the most successful sports programs in school history. Prior to attending their first game in the stands of a basketball powerhouse like GU though, there are some things that first year students should know about The Kennel in order to get hyped for a special year.
Senior Clare Martin will be serving as club president of the Kennel Club this year, a student run group that organizes events throughout the school year for all sports, and that also runs the student section known as the Kennel Club. Martin went abroad her junior year and was not on the board last year but is excited to serve as the Kennel Club president this upcoming year.
“I was first on the Kennel Club board my sophomore year and I served as the Women Sports Representative,” Martin said via email. “I found out in March I was going to be the president and have been busy getting ready for next year ever since.”
Like with any sporting event as big as GU basketball, students need a ticket to get into the game. For women’s basketball games, ticket distribution requires you to walk in through the McCarthey Center’s main student entrance either before or during the game, and then you’re in.
Men’s basketball games are a bit different. The Sunday before a series of games depending on the schedule, students are asked to wait outside of McCarthey Athletic Center until they’re given a number by the Kennel Club, that facilitates ticket distribution for events run by the GU Athletic Department. Once students receive a number, they are asked to return to McCarthy at a later time so they can get their Zagcard swiped for however many games they would like to attend. Students then line up outside McCarthey again on game day and are let into the Kennel 1.5 hours prior to tipoff.
If students aren’t able to make a ticket distribution, students can go to the ticketing office located inside McCarthey and get their Zagcard swiped for any of the games with available seating left. Students will be notified when games have spare ticket availability via email.
A few times each season, students get the chance to participate in Tent City — a time when the Kennel Club sections off an area of campus (typically Herak Quad or Foley Lawn) so students can pitch tents to camp out in overnight and wait to get into the game. Tent City is normally set up for games against a big non-conference opponent, BYU, Saint Mary’s, and always for senior night. More information about Tent City can be found on the GU website.
“I wish I went to every single Tent City, game watch, etc. when I was a freshman,” Martin said. “While abroad, the thing I missed most about GU was the Kennel. It made me realize how I wish I had never missed an opportunity to be in The Kennel even though I went to almost every game, I still feel like it wasn’t enough.”
Although things may be uncertain now, when the time comes for Zags basketball to avenge the shortened season, first year students should anticipate a great year.
“Freshmen should be excited to be part of something great when they walk into McCarthey,” Martin said. “They should look forward to being the sixth man at the games and being a part of all the cheers, the electric energy that comes from Zombie Nation, and jamming out with the Bulldog Band at women’s games. Freshmen should be excited to experience an energy that is completely unique to Gonzaga when they go to a basketball game at GU.”