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Basketball band to travel to NYC tournament

Aubrey Butts | Sunday, March 4, 2012

Members of the Notre Dame men’s basketball band will travel to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday to rally Notre Dame’s men’s basketball team in the Big East tournament games.

“I have been to New York City many times, but I am still really excited,” junior Kathryn Murphy said. “Madison Square Garden is one of the most iconic places in the world, and I am excited to be representing the band and to show my support for the team.”

Since the mean’s team secured a bye for the first round of play, senior Jonathan Miller said he will use the spare time to sight-see.

“We get to spend an extra day in New York City, and a few band members and myself hope to see a Broadway show or do some other sight-seeing,” he said.

Having already experienced the tournament atmosphere his freshman year, senior trumpet player Joel Graczyk said he is excited to play at a major game again and to watch the team play at the tournament.

“As a freshman, I played in the band when the men’s basketball team played against Penn State in the National Invitation Tournament semifinal at the Garden, so I’m excited for the chance to go back,” he said. “I’m excited to watch our team compete as one of the best teams in college basketball right now.”

Graczyk said the band will play a key role in fostering support and enthusiasm for the team.

“With the games beyond the travel capacity of most students, the band and cheerleaders play a key role in showing student support for the team,” he said.

Miller said this enthusiasm and support is especially vital in an away-game atmosphere.

“Tournaments have a very different atmosphere than regular season games,” Miller said. “The pressure is higher because every game is a must-win and not having the advantage of a home crowd makes winning even harder.”

Despite the raised stakes and added pressure, Miller said he thinks the Irish will have a successful tournament run.

“I have full confidence our basketball team will do well in the tournament,” he said. “They have proven that they have what it takes to win the big games when it counts. I just hope they can feel out those rims in the Garden. The Big East is a tough conference.”

After analyzing the bracket, Graczyk said he is confident that the Irish have the opportunity to advance to the final game.

“Looking at the bracket, we have demonstrated that we have the ability to beat every team that potentially stands between us and the championship game,” he said. “If we can play tough through a couple of games, there is a real possibility that we can play for the championship.”