It's not a Northwestern game without countless fan reaction shots. After all, this is the basketball program that features actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus gleefully cheering on her son's team and ex-NBA coach Doug Collins agonizing over his son's coaching. It also counts numerous journalists and late-night host Seth Meyers among its alumni fans.
But for all the big names supporting Northwestern's first-ever NCAA Tournament bid, there is a new famous face associated with both the joy of the Wildcats' historic run and the agony of their second-round defeat to Gonzaga:
This young fan does not agree with the call. pic.twitter.com/A50cJE2D9N- CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 18, 2017
March Madness can get to anyone. pic.twitter.com/SX4E6wGyXO- CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 18, 2017
This kid has ALL OF THE EMOTIONS pic.twitter.com/4P9vaA9fsr- CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 18, 2017
After tailing big in the first half, Northwestern mounted a comeback against Gonzaga, cutting the lead to five but getting no closer in a 79-73 loss. It made for a dramatic final 10 minutes, which included a pivotal technical called on coach Chris Collins for arguing after a blatantly missed goaltending call.
Now, in addition to being Northwestern's first-ever loss in an NCAA Tournament game, Saturday will also go down as the Crying Northwestern Kid game. It's common this time of year -- and throughout college sports -- in the social media age, as TV cameras are quick to spotlight emotional fans in the stands and everybody online is immediately ready to make those camera shots go viral.
Crying Northwestern Kid thus joins Sad Virginia Fan, Stunned Michigan Fan and Crying Piccolo Girl among the most famous cases. Wisconsin's Twitter account even made sure to remind us all of Crying Piccolo Girl after the Badgers upset Villanova on Saturday -- two years after No. 1 seed Villanova lost in the second round to N.C. State, prompting the famous scene in the Wildcats' pep band:
SWEET. pic.twitter.com/adGsUrNWuN- UW-Madison (@UWMadison) March 18, 2017
There's more to the Crying Northwestern Kid story. According to the Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times and Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports, the young fan also happens to be the son of Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips.
This little guy? Northwestern AD Jim Phillips' 11-year-old son, John. Phillips told me he consoled him during timeouts. Sweet. Kids rule. pic.twitter.com/MIdHvsNuPc- Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) March 19, 2017
I'm told the crying kid CBS wouldn't stop showing (unfairly, IMO) was Northwestern AD Jim Phillips' son.- Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) March 19, 2017
The moment he was shown once on CBS, he was instantly bound to become a meme. Of course, March Madness is supposed to be filled with such unbridled emotion. And just remember that, if you're a sports fan reading this, this is probably what you looked like while watching your favorite team at age 11, too.