In Lewisburg, Bison fans cheered on their favorites
LEWISBURG - Thursday was an unofficial half day for anyone wearing orange and blue.
With Bucknell University making its sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament, most people in the Lewisburg area flocked to the nearest television to catch a glimpse of the Bison's game against Butler.
Unfortunately, there were many busted brackets and bubbles burst after the Bison lost 68-56 to the Bulldogs.
But the Bison fans weren't without their moments of excitement during the game.
Damon's Grill on Route 15 was an unofficial hot spot for Bucknell fans, with nearly all the seats filled well before tipoff.
Blue and orange balloons floated from posts but couldn't obscure the six large televisions and four projectors showing nothing but Bucknell's game.
Even though Lexington, Ky., is 500-plus miles from Lewisburg, the Bison fans rose and cheered for every Bucknell basket as though the team could hear it.
Early on, there seemed to be a lid on Bucknell's basket.
Patriot League center Mike Muscala shot just 1 of 9, prompting groans. Suggestions and observations abounded from the midday crowd. Speculations about Muscala's troubles echoed from the booths to the men's room.
Even though Bucknell scored just 14 first-half points, the sentiment seemed to be that the poor shooting couldn't last forever.
On cue, the Bison came to life in the second half and the crowd exploded with Bucknell's first lead of the second half. The Bison seemed to ride the wave, or at least feel the ripple, created by the crowd and led by as many as six with just under 10 minutes to play.
Slowly, Butler pulled even, then took the lead for good and the cheers turned into somber faces buried in hands; the reality of the end of the dance sunk in.
For a brief moment though, Bucknell and its fans seemed poised to capture the nation's attention again during March, but Cinderella will have to be played by another school this year.