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.”
Incredible scene in Portland, as an Indiana cheerleader saves the day by freeing a stuck ball. Amazing call by Andrew Catalon. pic.twitter.com/P53569THj2
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 18, 2022
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.
The year cheerleaders saved the NCAA Tournament. pic.twitter.com/0UWwAzFqxA
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 27, 2022
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.
Arkansas cheerleaders jumped on that opportunity with a QUICKNESS
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) March 27, 2022
That Arkansas cheerleader has to get her own NIL like the girl at Indiana did for rescuing the ball off the backboard.
— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) March 27, 2022
Ok we said you have to add the Indiana cheerleaders to the One Shining Moment montage, so you have to add the Arkansas cheerleaders too. https://t.co/pTXbRN0m99
— The Basketball Classic Bracketologists (SickosCBB) (@SickosCBB) March 27, 2022
Déjà vu: Cheerleaders save the day in the Arkansas / Duke game.
The ball got stuck again. Cheerleaders play hero again. pic.twitter.com/ABvrE7PCml
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) March 27, 2022
And that’s how the Arkansas cheerleader secured a spot on The Bachelor.
— Karen Howell (@karenehowell) March 27, 2022
That Arkansas cheerleader understood the assignment thanks to the previous Indiana cheerleader. #MarchMadness
— Mike Curtis (@MikeACurtis2) March 27, 2022
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.