When I first applied to college, the only thing I was looking for in a school was a big-time sports program.

I always watched football games on TV — big schools with 100,000-seat stadiums. It seemed so fun and so wild that I didn’t want to miss out on it. And basketball, don’t even get me started. I’ve wanted to sit with the Cameron Crazies since I was 2 years old.

But despite all of this, I still wound up here at Binghamton University. Don’t get me wrong, the education is definitely important, but on paper BU just didn’t seem like a great fit for me. I wanted to see future NBA stars playing in huge converted football stadiums, not little-known players in a tiny, quiet arena.

The truth is, Binghamton definitely isn’t a nationally recognized powerhouse for athletics, but that doesn’t mean that attending games and following the teams can’t be a blast. It’s all about what you make of it (no matter how many times your mother has told you that).

Both students and members of the community make attending Binghamton sporting events a good time. The Bearcats play in the America East, and we lead the conference in attendance across practically every sport.

My best experience at BU came in March 2009, when the Bearcats hosted the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers in the AE title game.

Remember when I mentioned a small arena? And remember when I called it quiet?

This was the moment that turned it all around for me. The Events Center was packed with more than 5,000 fans, all screaming and hoping for the school’s first NCAA tournament berth.

Well, they won it. And yeah, it was on national television. I was looking for a big-time sports program, and I found it right here at BU. Everyone in the crowd wore white, and we stormed the court when we won. It wasn’t 20,000 strong, but it was definitely a passionate bunch, happy to be a part of Bearcat history.

The basketball games are a blast, and there’s usually a ton of people there for both the men and women. The Events Center is a great place to see a game, and it’s definitely up there as one of the conference’s premier basketball facilities.

But it’s not just basketball. I’m a big soccer guy, and attending a game here is definitely worth it.

It’s not 100,000 seats, but the Bearcat Sports Complex gets pretty rowdy, especially during the homecoming game. The Bearcat Hooligans have all sorts of cheers, whether they’re cheering on Binghamton or taunting the opposing side. They get the crowd pretty involved.

The venues at this school are really nice, especially the arena. The complete remodeling of the baseball facility will be finished this spring, as Varsity Field is undergoing a multi-million dollar reconstruction.

All of the sports teams are worth seeing. Every event is guaranteed to have passionate fans who are proud to be there. The games and matches are fun and intense.

Binghamton basketball will never be Duke University basketball, and Binghamton football will never be University of Michigan football, primarily because Binghamton doesn’t have a football team.

That was an attempt to be witty, cut me some slack here. But really, we all know this. All of the fans and members of the community know, but we all take great pride in being part of the Bearcat program. What helps make the games great and exciting are the fans, a majority of which are students. So head down for a game or two this season, I’m sure you’ll have a good time.