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NCAA Tournament Excitement

The excitement hasn't been this high for Aggie Men's Basketball since Whitney Houston graced the music charts, gas prices were a mere 98 cents, Ronald Reagan was president, and "Dirty Dancing" topped the box office.

"Hair was longer back then, the shorts were shorter, and the style of plays, not that far off," 1987 Assistant Coach and former player John Thornton said. "I think the guys have gotten bigger and stronger and it's going to be extremely competitive, and it's just fun to show how long ago it was."

It's not only the cost of food or how folks dressed back in the 80s the place where the team played has also changed. In 1987 Aggie men practiced here at G. Rollie White Coliseum, and it took 19 years and a different venue to send the team back to the NCAA tournament.

John Thornton played for the team in 1975 when they played Cincinnati in the first round. n 1987 he was part of the coaching staff when the team played Duke in Indianapolis.

"I got goose bumps," John Thornton said. "Starting with the name on the screen and they stayed with me about an hour after that it was a good experience."

Thornton was there for Sunday's announcement. Now an athletic director for student development, he remembers what it was like almost two decades ago.

"it was a really roller coaster of emotions because we underachieved during the tournament," Thornton said. “Now we were in one of the biggest tournaments of them all so it was a fun time being associated with it."

This year's team is feeling that same excitement and so are plenty of local residents.

"I thought it was wonderful. Anytime the Aggie's do great uh I think it's a good deal," Bryan resident Margie Yerrington said.

As for Thornton, he'll be in Florida this week reliving his glory days, and making new memories supporting what he calls a deserving team.

You'll be able to watch the game against Syracuse Thursday night at 8:30, on KBTX News 3.


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