INDIANAPOLIS — This is the first time the entire NCAA men's basketball tournament is being held in one state, right here in central Indiana.
In a time where COVID-19 restrictions are tight, seven undergraduate and graduate students are gaining access inside all of the arenas, to cover the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
All of them are in the Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI. While at the arenas, they’re not only enjoying a great sports view, but they’re gaining experience writing articles about the game for the university’s sports capitol journalism program website and NCAA.com.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing likely,” said student Devin Voss.
“You know, 25 years from now we will look back on this and be like, 'wow, I was actually a part of history,'” said student David Hayden.
All of the students are working alongside sports media professionals, at the top of their game. While on a deadline, they’re learning lessons in one of the most high-pressure sports settings.
“How to write in a quick and concise way,” said student Owen Kaelble.
“The importance of preparation. I’ve learned the importance of knowing what questions you’re going to ask heading into a press conference,” said Burr.
Hayden said, “it’s been challenging, but I am loving the experience. I am loving the action,”
“Always keep your head on a swivel. You never really know what’s going to happen in these games,” said Voss.
Student Caleb Lynn said, “Extremely thankful for the opportunity that I’ve been given to write to take notes and to really get better in my craft.”
The director of the Sports Capitol Journalism Program, Malcolm Moran, coordinated these memorable moments in the arena for the students.
“You can’t put a measurement on the value of that kind of in-person deadline experience,” said Moran.
This is his 42nd NCAA tournament. He said, “The first time, to cover the NCAA tournament, I wrote my stories on a portable typewriter.”
For nineteen years, he covered the elite college hoops competition while working at the New York Times, and later on at USA Today.
However, it’s the success of his students at IUPUI that he brings his "A-game" to now. “You’ve got this jewel of a program right here in town,” said Moran.
He provides the students mentorship and at times reassurance.
“Very rewarding to be able to pass on the experiences I’ve had good and bad.” Moran said, “And the real payoff will be the confidence they gain as a result of the experience.”
It’s setting them up for success and opening doors during the NCAA tournament, under historic pandemic procedures.
Students started writing during the first four games of the tournament and will continue into the final four. This isn't the first time IUPUI students have covered the NCAA tournament. IUPUI students have covered the final four since 2012.
For more information on the program click here.