Exhale Binghamton, it’s over.
After 27 games of disappointment, struggles, frustration and failure, the Binghamton University men’s basketball team finally pulled out its first victory of the season Tuesday night at the Events Center, by topping the University of Vermont 57-53.
The Bearcats defeated one of the conference’s elite teams — UVM came to Binghamton tied for first in the America East with a 12-2 conference record and 19-10 mark overall.
“We just beat a heck of a team,” head coach Mark Macon said in a post-game press conference.
As the clock struck double-zeroes and the buzzer sounded, the Bearcat faithful poured out of the student section bleachers and stormed the court — creating a scene slightly reminiscent of March 14, 2009, the day the Bearcats won the America East tournament en route to their first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.
This wasn’t a conference championship or even a postseason game, but for fans, coaches and most importantly the players, the context didn’t matter. All that did was that Binghamton had won.
Since transitioning to a 29-game season, only one Division-I program has completed an entirely winless campaign — the 2007-08 New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders.
BU will not join NJIT in infamy.
Sophomore Rob Mansell led all scorers with 18 points for the Bearcats while freshman Ben Dickinson added 16 and pulled down 11 rebounds.
“I’m so proud of them,” Macon said of his team. “You talk about monkeys? We had a whole zoo on our back.”