The University of Texas may just have the next sports dynasty on its hands. While UT men’s basketball made an early exit during March Madness, the university’s Quidditch team everyone off their feet to win a second consecutive world championship at the Quidditch World Cup VII in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
For all of you Muggles who aren't well acquainted with the wizarding world of Harry Potter, Quidditch draws its inspiration from the magical book series by J.K. Rowling. Participants run around on broomsticks throwing balls through hoops, avoiding getting hit by “bludger” balls, and seeking out the elusive Golden Snitch, which rewards a team with a whole bunch of points and ends the game if caught.
Naturally, people without magical powers have to approximate the game in the real world, first popularized at Middlebury College in 2005. The game gained a substantial following among college campuses, fueled by students who grew up with the books and subsequent movie adaptations.
In the championship showdown, UT defeated Texas State University with a score of 130-70, with newcomer Margo Aleman catching the Golden Snitch to clinch the repeat title. Texas State jumped out to an early lead, but UT took advantage of several turnovers and a strong defense, allowing Aleman to make a final play for the Snitch.
UT went 9-0 at the World Cup, its first tournament win of the season. The Longhorns beat Texas A&M (the Aggies' first loss of the season), with a score of 110-50. It just goes to show you that the true Lone Star rivalry can live on in unexpected ways.
The Quidditch team won its first championship last year after knocking off UCLA in the title round. Here’s hoping that UT Quidditch can go for the three-peat next year, perhaps inspiring the football team to rekindle its old magic.