News: Marines, Sailors come together, show their hometown colors
Story by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Across the nation millions began breaking out their team colors and preparing to cheer on their favorite college basketball teams as the 2012 March Madness Tournament gets underway.
Marines and sailors stationed aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point tuned into selection Sunday as the bracket for the tournament fell into place.
Like many other college hoops fans aboard the air station, James H. Taggart watched the events of selection Sunday with eager anticipation.
“Anytime Michigan is in the March Madness Tournament I get excited,” said Taggart, a native of Flint, Mich.
Taggart’s team, the University of Michigan Wolverines, took the number four seed for their region, and they will be one of 64 teams competing for the 2012 College Basketball National Championship.
“The college basketball tournament is fun to watch,” said Taggart. “Add in filling out the brackets when your team is in the hunt makes it even more exciting.”
Marines and sailors from all over the air station will be tuning in to their favorite colleges to see how they do in this year’s tournament and Cunningham’s is helping making that easier by hosting several March Madness events.
“During this tournament is when we get all of our true basketball patrons,” said Larry Johnson, the assistant Single Marine Program coordinator. “There are a lot of Marines and sailors from big college towns and they love this tournament.
“It is a time when they can come together with their friends and enjoy watching their teams,” he added. “If their team wins then they have bragging rights for the next year. This tournament gives these hard workers a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of Marines Corps life and just relax. Even if just for an hour or so they are connected with their friends and family back home.”
Johnson works at Cunningham’s, which hosted a March Madness Kick-Off Party Tuesday to watch the first two games of the tournament and will continue to show games throughout the tournament.
“Having a place where I can go rag on people for my team winning is awesome,” said Taggart. “I don’t have to sit in my barracks room all night by myself. I can go to Cunningham’s and watch all the games with fellow college basketball enthusiasts.”