Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Victor Cruz pays visit to UMass

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Fresh off of his recent Super Bowl victory two weeks ago, a familiar face made a pit stop to the Mullins Center on Tuesday night to pay his alma mater a visit.

Victor Cruz, the New York Giants sensation and former Massachusetts football star, sat courtside as he watched the men’s basketball team defeat Xavier, 80-73, to move into a tie for third place in the Atlantic 10.

Cheers filled the arena in response to any sighting of him. The occasional, elongated “Cruz” chant let out by UMass faithful and a collective media storm swept over him as he made his way through crowds for the majority of the game.

He even had a chance to judge a salsa-dancing competition at halftime in which three students received the opportunity to show their moves at midcourt. The dance has been much publicized recently and a trademark of Cruz’s, who made it popular this season when he made it his signature touchdown celebration.

“It’s definitely been surreal, it’s definitely just been a whirlwind, and I’m just soaking in all of the moments and all the times I get to enjoy it,” said Cruz of the aftermath of the Super Bowl win.

Even through all of the emotions of the Super Bowl win, Cruz felt at home during his return to the Pioneer Valley, and noted how different it was to see people wearing his No. 80 jersey in the stands and even a blown up fat-head of his face in the student section.

“It’s crazy seeing all of the jerseys and t-shirts,” said Cruz. “It just shows kind of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve done to change the culture around here.”

Although he said he didn’t get to see most of the game, he was also impressed with the play of the basketball team on the court.
“From what I’ve seen, Chaz Williams has done an outstanding job and from what I hear this whole season,” said Cruz. “I hear we’re on the verge of doing some really good things. I’m excited for our basketball team.”

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette contributed to this report.

Stephen Hewitt can be reached at shewitt@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Hewitt.

 

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