One of the biggest stories of the weekend in college hoops was the stunning upset that NJIT pulled against then-No. 17 Michigan.
The Highlanders, who just five years ago lost 51 straight games, had been one of college basketball’s most dismal programs. But they’ve now won at Duquesne and Michigan and nearly knocked off Marquette at the Bradley Center as well.
It’s created a platform for head coach Jim Engles to argue for his team’s inclusion in a conference. Any conference. Since the Great West disintegrated, NJIT is now the only Division I independent in college basketball.
And Notre Dame football, they are not.
Which is why it’s theoretically a good thing that the school is getting crushed with orders for t-shirts and sweatshirts and anything else with the logo on it. Is their a budding NJIT fanbase? Is this program a sleeping giant? Are they on the verge of a Butler-esque climb up the college basketball ranks?
Turns out, it’s just rival Big Ten fans trolling. From the New York Times:
A man named Jeremy Bronson had posted, “@NJITBookstore, heads-up — you’re gonna be mailing a LOT of t-shirts to a city called East Lansing this week.”
[Pete] Maranzano, who manages the N.J.I.T. bookstore inside the campus center, thought it was just a good line from an acerbic Michigan State fan. Then he arrived at work Monday morning and found six pages of online orders for the school’s red-and-black T-shirts and sweatshirts.
“On a typical Monday, there’s usually orders for two or three shirts,” said Maranzano, 36.
Oh, he added, an overwhelming majority of them happened to come from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
So NJIT has a growing fanbase in the midwest. Maybe NJIT should look into joining the MAC?