Cheering the Hens
University alumni flock to NCAA women's basketball watch parties
8:28 a.m., April 2, 2013--University of Delaware alumni and fans came out in droves to show their support for the women’s basketball team, led by All-American senior Elena Delle Donne, as the Blue Hens made their first foray into the NCAA championship tournament’s Sweet 16 on Saturday against the University of Kentucky.
Despite a second-half rally, the Hens fell 69-62, but they gained well-wishers nationwide with a grassroots effort that topped 29 official watch parties in 24 cities, from Hermosa Beach and Encinitas in California to Boston, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale and Roanoke, Va.
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Locally, fans at Stanley’s Tavern estimated that at least 200 people arrived decked out in UD gear, with all 40 television sets tuned to the game with the sound system on.
Four of UD alumnus Paul G. Odgen’s Famous Taverns opened four hours early for the game and offered $2 drink specials for anyone in UD gear. Patrons estimate each location had over 100 fans in Delaware Blue and Gold.
In southern Delaware, the Lighthouse in Dewey Beach, Grotto’s Pizza in Seaford and Buffalo Wild Wings in Dover were the hot spots. Shanté Hastings, president of the Kent and Sussex Alumni Club, reported 50 enthused fans at the Lighthouse.
From WBOC in Dover to the national news to the Oval Office, many the media were talking about Delaware’s tournament performance, with the Hens topping West Virginia and North Carolina at the Bob Carpenter Center before falling to Kentucky in Bridgeport, Conn.
Vice President Joe Biden, a UD alumnus who attended the North Carolina game, proudly boasted about the women’s surprise win over UNC on Tuesday in an ABC News report. “Delaware won last night,” he said, with President Barack Obama replying, “My women’s bracket is doing better than my men’s.”
Watch Parties in Delaware
Newark - Blue Hen Madness headquarters
Wilmington (five locations)
Watch Parties Nationwide
Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Long Island, N.Y.
South New Jersey
North New Jersey
New York City
About Alumni Relations
The University of Delaware Office of Alumni Relations promotes a lifelong relationship between the University and more than 160,000 living alumni, all of whom are members of the UD Alumni Association, by providing programs, events and awards for alumni and students, maintaining traditions and fostering Blue Hen pride. For more information, visit www.UDconnection.com.