Kentucky sax player keeps 'crying band member' tradition alive

The Dagger

Crying band members are becoming a staple of the NCAA tournament.

The latest example occurred Saturday at the end of Kentucky’s loss to regional rival Indiana. Television cameras focused on a young woman in the Kentucky pep band crying while holding her alto saxophone in front of her face.

[Indiana earns third Sweet 16 in five seasons by ousting Kentucky]

You can understand the emotion. Band members at schools across the country devote huge amounts of time to their craft and often are some of their team’s most ardent supporters.

Last year, the tournament introduced us to Roxanne Chalifoux, a piccolo player in the Villanova band who became an Internet sensation when television cameras focused on her crying at the end of the Wildcats' loss to Villanova. You could understand her tears, too. It was her final game in her senior year and the Wildcats were the first No. 1 seed eliminated from the tournament by N.C. State.

Some of you might be all up in arms about people making fun of these raw emotions with memes and social media commentary, but it's just another aspect of the tournament that makes it fun for some. No harm, no foul.

Let's not feel too bad for these band members. They know they run the risk of being caught on camera at some point whether they're crying or doing something over the top to support their teams. And remember, Chalifoux ended up sitting in with "The Tonight Show" band, The Roots, and eventually had a bobblehead made in her honor last year.


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[Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!


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