CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The Chants have their ticket punched for the big dance for the first time since 1993. With the big win, the university is winning big off the court.
"It will help enrollment. It's been proven that going to the NCAA is well worth more than a million dollars to any university," said Coach Cliff Ellis.
Just one day after his team won the Big South Championship, the coach has already done more than a dozen national interviews. Being in the tournament is invaluable marketing for CCU.
"There will be a significant impact on the university. This is like the Super Bowl. There are very few sporting events in the country, or even the world, that gain so much attention," explained Matt Hogue, the Associate Vice President for Marketing at Coastal Carolina University.
Already the marketing department is tracking the impact of the tournament win, checking indicators like website clicks, applications, and deposits from prospective students.
"The eyeballs that will be, not just on our team, but on learning about our institution, is beyond significant," he said.
Being in the tournament early gives CCU extra attention.
"You're the only ones to talk about. You're early. The ACC, all the other tournaments are played this weekend. They want to talk about who is in the big dance because everybody in America, whether you like basketball or not, gets into March Madness," explained Coach Ellis.
Part of getting into the games is filling out a bracket.
"There's a whole culture of people following the games, filling out their brackets, figuring out who is going to win what game," said Hogue.
Which adds even more attention to CCU as people across the country write, and hopefully re-write, the university's name on their brackets.
"It adds to that repetitive advertising. And when you're part of a billion dollar national TV deal like CBS puts on, its advertising that you could never plan, never pay for," said Hogue.
For now it is a waiting game. CCU won't know which team they play until selection day this Sunday. Then you can see how far the team, and the university's name, will go in the national spotlight.