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Lynne Firmin

Basketballs weren’t the only things being tossed around Fogelman Arena during the Tulane men’s game against Tulsa Saturday night.

A rowdy student section filled with Fogelman Fanatics revived an old Tulane tradition by launching Mardi Gras beads onto the court after the Green Wave scored its first basket, resulting in a team technical foul on Tulane. Decades ago, Tulane students threw beads at every game during Carnival Season. Saturday’s game was the first home competition after Mardi Gras, and though Carnival Season was technically finished, the students had plenty of extra beads to put to use.

The tradition supposedly stopped after an opposing player was hit in the eye during the coach Perry Clark era, and was last known to have taken place in 1990.

This year, the advertisements were disguised by a campus-wide effort to recycle beads. Students were encouraged to bring extra beads to all the sporting events that weekend because ARC-GNO donation bins would be readily available to collect extra beads; consequently, walking in with a neckload of beads did not faze the Athletics staff members.

The box score read “Technical foul on Tulane bench (19:02, 1st half): beads on court.” The Golden Hurricane took advantage of the foul and the student section’s beads barrage cost the Green Wave two points. Players and fans still debate if this technical influenced the outcome of the game, because the Green Wave lost 73-69. Many fans feel that the game was close enough that those lost two points could have been game-changing, but others blamed missed free throws in the second half.

Head coach Ed Conroy refused to blame the loss on the enthusiastic student section. The Green Wave had nearly 40 minutes to compensate for the two-point deduction, Conroy told the Times-Picayune.

“I wouldn’t want to play the game without their energy, without them in the building tonight, and I’m glad they were here,” Conroy said. “And I like their support. Would I trade the fact that our team knew the entire student body was behind them and wanted to do anything they could do to bring energy into the arena tonight? Probably not.”