One college basketball game got out of control on Tuesday night. During the NEC men's basketball championship game between Bryant and Wagner, the fans got into a fight, which led to the game being delayed for about 30 minutes, according to ESPN. A man who was shirtless seemingly escalated the fight when he threw a drink at another man, according to TMZ Sports.
The brawl occurred with 4:37 remaining in the second half. Local and state police were seen on the court to calm things down, and officials checked the replay monitors to see if any players from the schools got involved in the fight. ESPN says none of the players made it into the stands, but Wagner guard Will Martinez attempted to get involved, leading to him being ejected.
unreal stuff pic.twitter.com/KL1FOLedXS— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 9, 2022
"I didn't see any of it — how any of that thing started," Bryant athletic director Bill Smith said afterward, according to The Providence Journal. "All I knew is we needed to finish the game in a first-class manner. Get both teams back on the court, shake hands at the end and finish the game. Unfortunately, I don't think there was anything else we could have done that would have prevented what occurred. It's just been an incredible night and we're going to move on."
Bryant coach Jared Grasso is glad that his players weren't involved in the fight. "I don't know how it started, why it started, what took place. Thankfully our guys were not a part of it, he said." Bryant won the game 70-43 and earned its first trip to the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament. It's also the first NEC title for Bryant who became postseason eligible in 2013 after moving up to Division I. On Wednesday morning, Bryant University issued a statement concerning the brawl.
"While the large majority of students at the March 8 Men's Basketball game were focused on the outstanding performance of our team and looking forward to celebrating Bryant's first Men's Basketball NEC championship, a small number of students engaged in unacceptable behavior," Bryant said in the statement. "The incident is under investigation through our established internal processes and Bryant is working with appropriate bodies to ensure that those involved in last night's incident are held accountable."