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A View From the Hoyas Student Section

By Olivia Scott
Special to
Saturday, March 31, 2007; 11:24 PM

Four buses will depart at 8 a.m. Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after the last bus arrived in Atlanta for Georgetown's trip to the Final Four.

Despite the disappointing early exit, just being here is a remarkable accomplishment, but it seems that Georgetown students always want more.

Students that work on thesis papers while camping in line for tickets; students that want to return in time for classes instead of attending free concerts in Atlanta; students that want to be the only school in the academic top 25 left standing in Atlanta and win the national championship.

For these kids, it wasn't just all about being here, it was about winning too. The Hoyas' were no 2006 George Mason; it was not a surprise they were among the final four teams standing. It will also not be a surprise if more than one of their starters declare for the NBA draft this summer, and the fans know that.

"We wouldn't come down if we didn't think we could [win]," senior Paul Kenyon said before the game. And after? Well after, fans were less eager to talk, but those that did had no doubt they would be back for more.

"I'm disappointed, but we've come so far," junior Ashley Howard said. "It says something about the direction our program is taking."

Recent alumnus, 23-year-old Jonathan Mautner, agreed with the sentiment. "Excitement's just back like it hadn't been for a long time," he said. "Everyone thought we could do something special, and we did."

These are the Georgetown fans that will be back for more.

Some, like senior Ravi Magia, have waited patiently for four years as season ticket-holders. He saw the transition from former Head Coach Craig Escherick to John Thompson III, and he appreciates the opportunity to be here, even if that means cramming nine people into a hotel room.

Others are rookie fans just along for the ride, like freshman Brittany Lewis, who said that she jumped on the opportunity last week when the University sent out a campus-wide e-mail on ticket sales. "Why not?"

Her friend, freshman Andrea Sabins, was bubbling with excitement at the half. "My love for Georgetown has doubled the past week." Sabins, who ran down to the streets of D.C. in socks after last weekend's overtime victory against the University of North Carolina, only had time for a nap before heading to the semifinal game. She, like many others, trickled in on buses arriving during the early Saturday morning hours.

But as one would expect from a generation of college kids raised on caffeine, that did not dampen her excitement during the game. The energy of the student section, even in the upper levels, had not dropped by halftime, despite a first half in which the Hoyas trailed by four.

The Georgetown fans wanted to win, and they still do.

These are the kids that will be on the bus tomorrow morning to get back for Monday class, but these are also the kids who can't wait for more of the action. The buses are headed back to D.C., marking the end of the Hoyas' season, but it's just the beginning for Georgetown fans.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company