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Friday, December 20, 2013
High Point’s long-shot tuition giveaway

By Eamonn Brennan

The only top 25 team in action Friday night is Syracuse. At 7 p.m. ET, the Orange will welcome High Point to the Carrier Dome. Syracuse is going to win. Probably by a lot. I know, I know: I’m out on a limb there. It’s a risky pick. But I have a feeling the Orange will come through.

But there is good news for HPU. No matter what manner of foul misdeeds are committed against the Panthers (3-6), they won’t affect the marketing promotion High Point announced this week.

Simply put: If High Point gets to the NCAA tournament and wins a game, one High Point student will win free tuition for a year. Students who attend all seven home basketball games from Jan. 10 to Feb. 26 will be entered in the drawing, according to the release; the eventual winner will be handed a $31,980 check from various corporate sponsors involved. Oh, and students can’t just attend the games. They have to tweet a photo with a specific hashtag, too.

Which is kind of a cute promotion, on its face, but let’s be honest: High Point’s chances of making the NCAA tournament -- let alone winning a game -- are infinitesimal. What High Point students will be hoping for, besides a conference tournament title (which in and of itself: pretty awesome) is a spot in the play-in round in Dayton. (Ahem, First Four.) Playing against another No. 15 or No. 16 seed raises the odds dramatically, even if they remain slim overall.

So there you go, High Point-ers: No matter what Syracuse does to you on Friday night -- and it may occasionally call to mind the first Comanche scene in “Blood Meridian” -- you’ve still got a shot at 31 grand. Silver linings!