Bill Murray was at it again Tuesday night. One of South Carolina’s most prominent sports fans went bonkers in Section 118 at the North Charleston Coliseum, cheering College of Charleston on to an 83-76 overtime victory over Northeastern in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship game.
The Cougars qualified for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999.
Murray in his Charleston RiverDogs ballcap caught the attention of the CBS Sports Network during the live broadcast, was a hit on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Wednesday and made the social media rounds.
“We love it, of course,” RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols said. “Obviously, Billy is a huge sports fan. It’s fun to watch when he gets excited. And it never hurts us that he’s wearing a RiverDogs hat.”
Nothing new for the Lowcountry resident and RiverDogs co-owner. Along with RiverDogs games in baseball’s Class A South Atlantic League, Murray has attended basketball games at College of Charleston, The Citadel and Charleston Southern, was the guest picker before a Florida State-Clemson football game at Death Valley.
He also has enjoyed Lowcountry Highrollers roller derby clashes, among various other sporting events.
“Everyone knows Billy likes baseball and golf,” Echols said. “But he’s a huge college basketball fan. He’s a connoisseur of all things sports.”
The overtime period Tuesday night is when things began to get overly raucous. After Marquise Pointer sank a three-pointer to put the Cougars up 75-69 with just over two minutes on the clock, a jubilant Bill Murray started cheering and fist-pumping from the sidelines.
SportsCenter captured the moment on its Twitter page.
College of Charleston coach Earl Grant wasn't surprised that Murray was at the game.
“You see Bill at a lot of different sporting events, so you know he’s a sports fan,” Grant said. "I wasn’t shocked to see him there. It was about the biggest event going on. It’s great to have him pulling for us.”
Murray, 67, is expected to make his next March Madness stop at New York's Madison Square Garden to see Xavier play in the Big East Tournament. His son Luke is an assistant coach for the Musketeers. Luke Murray, while an assistant at Towson, told The Post and Courier about his father's support.
Meanwhile, the College of Charleston's 19-year gap between NCAA Tournament appearances is reflected in some of the movies Murray has made since 1999:
“Lost in Translation”
“The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou”
“The Monuments Men”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff