CBS Spotlights Gardner-Webb’s First Trip to The Dance

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TV Special Captures March Madness Excitement Through Students’ Eyes

A CBS Film Crew interviews GWU student Will Marvel about GWU's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Will Marvel, a senior from Buford, Ga., is interviewed by the crew from CBS. (Photo by Noel T. Manning II)

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University and the men’s basketball team will return to the national spotlight on April 7 at 3 p.m. in a CBS television special to air on Final Four Weekend.

From March 20-23, CBS commissioned a film crew to capture the excitement, energy and mayhem of Gardner-Webb’s first men’s NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. They documented March Madness on the GWU campus through the eyes of two students, junior Jada Robbs, of Shelby, N.C., and senior Will Marvel, of Buford, Ga.

Robbs’ and Marvel’s stories will be included in “CBS Four Sides of the Story, March Madness Begins,” a segment that examines the NCAA Tournament’s first week through four viewpoints (or four sides). From the student’s engagement (Gardner-Webb), to the NCAA officials, to a veteran broadcaster, to the graduate assistants of 7-seed Nevada, all angles will be covered.

Marvel appreciated the chance to share his thoughts with a national audience. “I wanted to speak on the opportunities the University has given me and how it has impacted my life over the last four years,” Marvel reflected. “I hope that after this program, people will see how special Gardner-Webb is, and ultimately, get a glimpse into how strong the future is for this university.”

GWU student Jada Robbs talks with members of the CBS film crew as they look at the video made on campus.
Jada Robbs, a junior from Shelby, N.C., talks to the film crew from CBS during taping of the special that will air during Final Four Weekend.

Robbs said she was honored to be included in the program and hoped to convey what it’s like to be a student at Gardner-Webb. “Our school is something to take pride in,” she affirmed. “We have great people and a great community and the majority of those relationships are connected by the love of Christ.”

The CBS team immersed themselves into the GWU (and Cleveland County) lifestyle for several days. Coverage included sunrises over Lake Hollifield, classroom visits where Dr. Anthony Negbenebor dialogued about the economics of Gardner-Webb’s March Madness breakthrough, students watching tournament games in a residence hall, and a ride along with the student fans on the tournament game bus. The CBS crew were in the middle of the fan excitement on game day and welcomed home the team as they returned after their exit from the NCAA tournament. The crew also took in Cleveland County barbecue, livermush and even experienced Boiling Springs’ staples – the Snack Shop and Bulldog Quick-Snak.

They were amazed at the generosity and the welcoming spirt of the community from start to finish, and offered that this should be named the capital of “Southern Hospitality.”

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university, Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at