While the Amherst track and field program has enjoyed an enormously successful winter campaign, the spring season is fast approaching. As the focus shifts from the indoor to outdoor track, the Jeffs are looking to sustain the excellent performances that netted them three national qualifiers from the men’s side (Ben Scheetz ’12, Patrick Grimes ’13 and Matt Melton ’14) and a qualifying women’s team in the distance medley relay that consisted of Lauren Almeida ’13, Naomi Bates ’14, Melissa Sullivan ’12 and Kerri Lambert ’13.

The men’s basketball team, riding a wave of momentum into the NCAA Tournament after winning the NESCAC Championship, continued to dominate LeFrak Gymnasium this weekend in their first national tournament game. With men’s ice hockey beating Williams before the basketball game, the atmosphere was electric in the Amherst student section, which competed against a full contingent from visiting New York Univ. The Violets brought fans and cheerleaders to LeFrak, hoping to catch some energy and pull off an upset of the heavily favored Jeffs.

Despite stubborn, ill-advised negotiating tactics, a collective bargaining agreement that still needs adjustments and the pressure of losing games, the NBA players and owners managed to reach a deal a few months ago to end the league’s first lockout in over a decade in time. In the process, they managed to save most of the regular season.

After a game-winning jumper against Williams and a last-second layup to beat Middlebury to finish the regular season, it was hard to imagine that the Jeffs could sustain the high level of drama in the postseason. But after handily beating Hamilton in the NESCAC quarterfinals, Amherst would need to keep the same composure and execution showcased in their late-season surge to win a pair of games this weekend and earn the conference title that eluded them last year.

After earning two of the most thrilling victories in the program’s recent history to close out the regular season last week, the men’s basketball team seemed primed to play their best basketball to open the postseason.

While last year’s team posted an outstanding 25–4 record, they fell twice to both Middlebury and Williams; these conference losses left the Jeffs ready for vengeance this year.

The last weekend of the regular season proved to be the most thrilling for the men’s basketball team, as they battled Williams and Middlebury on back-to-back nights with conference bragging rights and the NESCAC top seed at stake.

As sports have gained popularity and importance in society, watching sports has gone from a casual, passive form of entertainment to an obsession that plays a central role in the day-to-day mood of countless fans. We pour immense amounts of energy into rooting for our teams and hating others, and our enormous emotional investment in the fortunes of teams we have no direct connection to can seem irrational and ridiculous when looked at from a non-fan’s perspective.