clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

James Madison's Nikki Newman doesn't consider the first round win against Gonzaga an upset

Most of us considered James Madison's 72-63 win in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament an "upset", but they're not quite thinking of it that way. JMU senior Nikki Newman fills us in on the team's mindset as they head to the first round as well as the importance of cheerleaders, her parents, and making memories with her teammates during this journey.

James Madison senior Nikki Newman had a game-high four blocks in a first round win against Gonzaga.
James Madison senior Nikki Newman had a game-high four blocks in a first round win against Gonzaga.
Photos by Photography/JMU Athletics Communications.

One down... how exciting!

The crazy thing is everyone talks about it being an upset. Granted, we are an 11 seed and beat a 6 seed, but we felt if we came out and played harder we would win. With that being said, no upset in our minds other than playing JMU basketball.

The game was intense and very up-tempo but that's what we expected and what we wanted. It also helped that there was some purple in the stands. Our fans rallied around us and were cheering loud.

Having the pep band and our cheerleaders here helped - they kind of just ease the feeling on the court with their crazy antics that we love so much! The "you got Kirby'd" and "Nikki says NO!" There is a vast array of things they do and say that just get us excited.

I think another more memorable time for me thus far would be looking up in the stands and seeing my parents here. They've been my biggest fans from day one and the amount of love they bring to what I do is unexplainable.

Starting into this NCAA journey, we knew the games were going to be tough, but we wanted the challenge. So, up next, Texas A&M. I think it is a great matchup for us and one that we are very excited about. Again, if we go out and play to our character and just be us, I think we will come away with a well-deserved win.

As far as being in Texas it's pretty much been low key for us, which is a good thing. We have our daily laughs, dance parties and what not, but like I've said before it's a business trip for us. I will say the steakhouse we went to was pretty legit! I think we made the waiter our new biggest fan though! We plan on having a lot of more memories to bring back to JMU nation with us!

For more from Newman and JMU's journey thus far, check out our Lincoln region storystream.