With the drought finally ending, Yale University students, parents and alumni got their first taste of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence.
“First time since 1962, so it’s an unbelievable time for Yale,” said Andrew Teitelman.
His father, David Teitelman, graduated from Yale in 1983.
“I was 7-months-old the last time they went, so I was alive when they went last time,” David said, “but I can’t remember that, so I’ve been waiting this day for a very long period of time.”
The Teitelmans drove from Woodbridge to watch the 12th seeded Bulldogs battle the fifth seeded Baylor Bears in the first round of the tournament.
“We almost made it in 2002,” David Teitelman said, “I was at Dartmouth last year when we lost a heartbreaker. I was at the Palestra when we lost to Harvard. I’ve been to all the games this season and it’s just a great experience and I’m very happy for the team and for the university.”
With the game only about 100 miles from New Haven, Ray Peck wasn’t going to miss what has eluded the Elis for more than five decades.
“We were ecstatic about only (having) to go an hour and a half,” Peck said. “Double J, Coach Jones is an old friend. We want to see him do very well and they (are a) good bunch of kids, too.”
Peggy Victor flew from Texas to watch her son, senior guard Nick Victor, be part of Yale basketball history.
“It’s the most exciting thing,” she said, “I have five boys that play basketball and this one has made it the farthest. It’s so exciting, we’re just thrilled.”
Victor’s proud grandma, Kenny Peterson, made the trip to Providence from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“We got tickets to go home Sunday,” she said. “So we got to go to the game Saturday.”
The team got a pep talk on Wednesday night from an unexpected source, Yale Law School graduate and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (D).
President Obama, who went to Harvard Law School, picked Baylor in his bracket.