If not for cheerleaders, the 2022 NCAA Tournament might be at a standstill, forever waiting for basketballs to fall to the ground.

Indiana cheerleader Cassidy Cerny was the star of the first round when she was hoisted by fellow cheerleader Nathan Paris to retrieve a ball that was stuck behind the backboard during the No. 12 seeded Hoosiers game against the No. 5 seeded Saint Mary’s Gaels. The Hoosiers might have lost the game but she earned a sweet NIL sponsorship deal and “one shining moment.”

That scene played out again on Saturday when, during the Elite Eight contest between No. 2 seed Duke and No. 4 seed Arkansas, a ball got stuck atop the backboard. This time, everyone knew to look to the cheerleaders and it was one of Arkansas’s who saved the day yet again.

Yet again, the cheerleader might have saved the day but her particular team lost the game. You win some, you lose some.

Understandably, there were a lot of comments and reactions on social media following the second cheerleader rescue during this NCAA Tournament.

Two more teams will book their ticket to the Final Four today. Will a third cheerleader be asked to help ensure the games can be played? It only seems logical that this tournament will come down to whether or not one school’s spirit squad can jar a ball loose before this is all over.

[CBS Sports]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.