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Natasha Cloud Blog: The hugs, cheers, and tears of a jubilant Selection Monday

St. Joseph's guard Natasha Cloud contributes another guest blog to describe her feelings leading up to and after Selection Monday after worrying that they wouldn't make it in her previous post.

Photo by Sideline Photos, LLC.


Hello again everyone!!! We are beyond excited here on hawk hill!!! Tonight on selection Monday, we received our NCAA bid to play in the tournament! Words cannot describe how grateful, blessed, and hype we are to be given this opportunity! I shared with you all in my last blog that we really did not know what our fate was (whether we were headed to the NCAA tournament or the WNIT), but we were just thankful that we would have a post season either way.

This past week of practice has been somewhat of a weird feeling. Not knowing our fate, or who our next opponent was, practice was like it was back in September. We really took a step back and focused on the little things; breaking down our offensive sets, focusing on our defensive principles, getting back into early season shape, and staying in game mode by scrimmaging.

This past week was a much-needed week for our team to refocus after being knocked out of the A10 tournament. The past week and a half has been extremely nerve wracking. We found out that the worst feeling is having your fate in the palm of other people's hands because it leaves you in a nervous, panicked state.

Today was the worst of the nervousness. Tonight was the night that we found out what our future held! As a team we met at 6:30pm in our hall of fame room to watch the selection show on the big projector screen (the party team was believe in the luck of the Irish). Remember I said that we are "big girls" here as St. Joe's, so our first priority was devouring the Qdoba that they had ordered for us!

Then, it was back to business. As we were waiting there for the selection show to start, you could feel the nervousness in the air (I personally was sweating like we were in a sauna). As we saw UCONN appear on the screen, the anxiousness became even more extreme; then it happened!! St. Joseph's appeared on the screen!!!

Everyone literally went crazy screaming and yelling! I can honestly say it is one of the best feelings in the world to see all your hard work, and dedication appear on the screen. As an athlete your ultimate goal is to play to the best of your abilities at the highest level; for us that is the NCAA tournament.

The realization hit us when we saw our name that everything we have ever worked for, all the pain, sweat and tears were worth it! With tons of hugs, cheers, and even tears, our St. Patrick's Day ended off right!

What made this NCAA bid even more special was the fact that we have a dancing partner. Yesterday, our men's team won the Atlantic 10 tournament sealing there bid for the men's NCAA tournament! As a team we gathered at our seniors house to watch their game together as a team!

The one thing I can say about St. Joe's men's and women's basketball is that we are one big family! No one was happier for them than their numero uno supporters (that's us if you did not know)! As two teams we support each other through the good, the bad, and awful; never losing faith in each other.

As two teams we are just so thankful, humbled and blessed for the opportunity to represent our school, community, and our city! I called it from the beginning of the year that both of our teams would do big things; watch out world the hawks are ready to make a name for themselves!

Tune into our men's game versus UCONN, this Thursday night at 6:55pm; and then of course our game this Sunday at 5:30pm and remember that THE HAWK WILL NEVER DIE!