Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

For the first time in its nearly 100-year old program, Cincinnati’s Xavier University received a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament. It was a bit heartbreaking, then, when the Florida State Seminoles knocked the early favorites out of the running in Nashville.

Their loss didn’t come from a lack of enthusiasm, however. Fans everywhere—including Bill Murray, a die-hard Musketeer—were actively rooting for the small Ohio school, some while flying on airplanes with spotty WiFi connections. After shelling out money for in-air internet access, Xavier alum Renée Stoeckle discovered that the connection wasn’t strong enough to stream the game.

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“I logged into the site a few minutes before the game and pretty quickly realized it wasn’t going to load, so I tried tbs.com and the Southwest in-flight live tv, but none of them would stream,” Stoeckle tells us over e-mail. “I pulled up espn.com in one window so I could watch the score, then logged onto Twitter and was frantically trying to find someone live-tweeting the game.”

Surprisingly, that live tweeter turned out to be Southwest’s Mike, the customer service associate who replied to her initial tweet.

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It must’ve been a slow night over at Southwest, because over the next hour or so Mike outlined the tumultuous second half across more than a dozen tweets (from Southwest’s own account), chronicling everything from J.P. Macura’s aggressive fouls to Quentin Goodin’s robust dunk to the Seminoles’ impressive, if tragic, comeback and victory.

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“I didn’t realize he was actually doing it until a few minutes into the half,” Stoeckle says. “Then we—me and a WVU fan beside me—kept refreshing the feed and waiting for Mike’s updates. Fortunately we landed just before the game ended, so Mike didn’t have to deliver that final blow.”

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And, though her team biffed it, the loss was somewhat leavened by Mike’s solidarity.

“My brackets have had Xavier winning it all every year since high school, so my bracket is busted again,” she says. “But this will definitely rank among by most memorable Xavier defeats. Plus it was far better than a free drink coupon.”

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