Our City: Following the College of Charleston's Big Dance

Campus Life, Athletics, All News

Get the latest information and behind-the-scenes action as the College of Charleston men’s basketball team heads to the NCAA Tournament.

College of Charleston’s March Madness run has ended. The Cougars lost to the University of Alabama 109-96 in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. 

The Cougars led at the start of the game, but Alabama roared back to lead by 17 points by halftime. The College was not able to cut into the lead in the second half. 

The Cougars finish the season with a 27-8 record. 

Coach Pat Kelsey says that his team was a special group of players: “I feel really blessed to have coached this team this year.”

The game was the final one for seniors Frankie Policelli and Bryce Butler. Although both only played one year for the Cougars, Kelsey says they’ve had a big impact on the program. 

“They are going to have a lasting legacy because of their leadership, maturity and the examples they set for younger players,” he says, adding that he is grateful for the College of Charleston fan base’s strong support this season. “We have an amazing fan base. Basketball really, really matters in Charleston. The fans are passionate.”

Get the full game recap on cofcsports.com.

The crowd goes wild in the Stern Center!

The home crowd is with you! Go Cougs!

The CofC Watch Party in the Stern Center Ballroom is READY!

Let’s GOOOOO!!!!

It’s almost here, Cougars! Find your watch party here!

Future Tattoos

If the Cougars do well in the tournament, it may be beneficial to a couple of tattoo artists.

Ryne Smith says he may have some new ink coming his way: “I got a basketball one in a part of my forearm. Maybe when my college career is over, there might be some March Madness somewhere on me. I don’t know yet, but probably a good chance.”

When he was the coach at Winthrop, Pat Kelsey told his players that he would get a tattoo if they made it to the NCAA tournament. They did, and he honored his commitment by getting a tattoo on his shoulder and the upper part of his arm. He says if this team goes to the Sweet 16 round, he may get a whole sleeve.

“My wife is not going to be happy about that,” Kelsey admits. ”But, anything for your players.”

Today’s the day, Cougars! Who’s excited?! These students sure are!

Finn Charles

“I’m super excited that CofC made it to the tournament again. I hope we won’t have a first round exit this time, but I feel confident.”

Finn Charles, Sophomore International Studies Major
Adem Dickinson

“I really hope the Cougars win tonight!”

Adem Dickinson, RCP Student
Lilly Hubbs

“I think we have a pretty good shot in the tournament. Looking at our stats versus Alabama, we actually are pretty evenly matched. I’m super excited!”

Lilly Hubbs, Junior English Major

Good News: The Cougars women’s basketball team has advanced to the second round of the WNIT after cruising past USC Upstate, 78-60, in the first round! It marks the first postseason victory in a decade!

The Cougars will take on Illinois State in the second round of the WNIT on Sunday, March 24, 2024. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.

Go Cougs!

Press conference!

Practice time!

The Cougars get their first look at the Spokane court!

The fans are already built in!

Behind the scenes at Spokane Arena.

Reyne Smith has some advice for his fellow teammates who are experiencing their first trip into March Madness. 

“You want to try and treat it like another game,” he says, “but it is hard to do.”

Smith is one of a handful of Cougars returning to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament after last year’s first-round loss to San Diego State. He says he has talked to fellow players about what to expect in this tournament and admits that it can be a bit overwhelming. 

“You see March Madness branding everywhere,” he explains, “and you are kind of in awe.” 

Coach Pat Kelsey says the team is ready to take the stage. 

“Our guys are unbelievably consistent,” says Kelsey. “These bright lights and this big moment are not too big for these guys.”

He says this team is ready to make a name for itself. 

“All they did was put blinders on and go to work. They made their own mark on College of Charleston basketball history,” Kelsey says. “Hopefully, there’s a lot more to be written.”

The Cougars play the University of Alabama on Friday at 7:35 p.m. The winner of the game advances to the second round of the tournament.    

This is the time that basketball fans across the nation have one question: What is TruTV and how can I find it? That is especially true for Cougar fans, since the first game of the tournament against the University of Alabama will be broadcast on TruTV at 7:35 p.m. 

If you are a fan of the show Impractical Jokers, you may know of TruTV. If not, fear not. We can help you find the channel. 

  • Xfinity: Click here to find the channel. 
  • DirectTV: 246
  • Dish: 242
  • AT&T: 146
  • YouTube TV: Search under the Sports tab.

Of course, you can forget about finding it on your TV and go to the Cougar watch parties in various locations. Here are the locations of the parties.

By the Numbers

2,659: The number of miles between the College of Charleston and Spokane, Washington (BTW, the correct pronunciation is Spo-CAN and not Spo-CANE.)

12,000: The number of seats in the Spokane Arena

1,843: The elevation (in feet) of the city of Spokane above sea level

110: The dollar cost of an average ticket to the College of Charleston/Alabama game

70: The expected temperature (F) in Charleston at the time of tipoff

59: The expected temperature (F) in Spokane at the time of tipoff

41: The number of Starbucks stores in the city of Spokane

23: The amount of confirmed official College of Charleston tournament watch parties (so far) around the country

1: The number of games the College of Charleston has defeated the University of Alabama in head-to-head matchups

0: The number of games Alabama has defeated the College of Charleston in head-to-head matchups

Reyne Smith’s mom and dad flew all the way from Australia to watch their son play in Spokane!!

Breaking News: President Joe Biden picks the Cougars in the first round! Roll Clyde!

College of Charleston Watch Party

Join us for a NCAA Tournament Men’s Basketball Watch Party in the Stern Student Center Ballroom (71 George St.) as the College of Charleston Cougars take on the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in Spokane, Washington, on Friday, March 22!

Admission is free and includes complimentary food and non-alcoholic beverages. Cougar swag will be given to the first 100 people.

Tipoff for the nationally televised game (on TruTV) is set for 7:35 p.m. (ET), and the ballroom doors will open at 7:15 p.m.

Limited seating. There will be overflow space in room 205 of the Stern Student Center. RSVP here. 

More Watch Parties

Where else can you watch the Cougars play Friday night? So many places!

The College of Charleston Alumni Association is organizing watch parties across the nation for the game. You can find a watch party location here. New sites will be added in the next few days. 

And, if you’re in New York City, join President Hsu at the NYC Watch Party!

Roll Clyde!

Our Charleston Cougars (21-9), under the leadership of Coach Robin Harmony, take on South Carolina Upstate Spartans (16-15) in the WNIT on Thursday, March 21, at G.B. Hodge Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Tipoff is at 7 (ET). You can catch the game on ESPN+.

The winner of Thursday’s game will advance to the second round of the WNIT, taking on Illinois State. The Cougars qualified for postseason play with a 21-9 overall record and 13-5 CAA record.

More information will be released on cofcsports.com as it becomes available. Go Cougs!

And they’re off! Safe travels!

What are the chances of Charleston pulling off an upset against the University of Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament?

Well, it depends on who you ask. 

The odds makers have the College as a 9.5-point underdog in the Friday game, but several national sports reporters are backing the Cougars. 

According to Edward Sutelan from The Sporting News, “This certainly has all the makings of a high-scoring matchup. If Charleston clamps down enough outside to limit Alabama hurting it too much from 3, that might be enough for the Cougars to pull off the upset.” 

John Fanta from Fox Sports predicts, “Charleston over Alabama. Ante Brzovic could give the Crimson Tide a lot of problems and the Cougars came so close to knocking off San Diego State last year. This time, they break through.” 

Joe Tansey from Bleacher Report says, “Pat Kelsey’s team enters the Big Dance on a 12-game winning streak in which it scored over 80 points on eight occasions. Charleston is one of the few mid-major programs who can keep pace with Alabama’s offense. If Charleston can adapt to that type of game after winning a shootout, it could be the biggest surprise of the tournament.” 

In fact, many journalists picked 13-seed Charleston over 4-seed Alabama in their personal brackets released this week. The list includes Pat Forde from Sports Illustrated, Eddie Timanus and Dan Wolken from USA Today, Rece Davis and Kevin Conners from ESPN, Ricky O’Donnell from SB Nation, and Gentry Estes from The Tennessean

On March 22, 2024, we will find out who is correct when the Cougars take on Alabama. Tipoff is at 7:35 p.m. The winner of the contest will advance to the tournament to play the winner of the St. Mary’s/Grand Canyon University game.

The College of Charleston’s journey to the NCAA Tournament begins today!

Everyone in “Our City” is invited to TD Arena at 3:15 p.m. to cheer on the Cougars as they travel to Spokane, Washington, for a first-round match against the University of Alabama. The team will be boarding buses on the Meeting Street side of TD Arena. 

Members of the cheer team, dance team and Chucktown Sound will be at the send-off party. The event is free and open to the public.

Related News


College of Charleston Photos of the Week

Read more about " College of Charleston Photos of the Week"
Committee on Commemoration and Landscapes Signage Ceremony

Four Historic Markers Unveiled on College of Charleston Campus

Read more about " Four Historic Markers Unveiled on College of Charleston Campus"

College Receives IIE American Passport Project Grant

Read more about " College Receives IIE American Passport Project Grant"