Bruin something special: Belmont superfan Brittany Sullivan
Go to any home basketball game, and you’ll likely see Bruins super-fan Brittany Sullivan cheering on her favorite team from her favorite seat.
The hardcore Bruins basketball fan, now in her senior year, has been to almost every home game, and plans to go to even more by the time she walks across the stage in May.
“I’m definitely going to all the home games,” she said. “I scheduled all my flights around it, to be honest.”
Sullivan lines up before the doors open — often over an hour before the games even start — to make sure she gets the same seat.
“I’ve literally watched every single game or watched the box score while it was happening,” Sullivan said. “I’ll do that for women, too. If the men and women are both playing at once, I’ll watch the men’s game and then just have the women’s box score going.”
When she can’t physically be at a game, she’ll stream it live.
Sullivan has traveled hundreds of miles to see the Bruins play at away games. She’s seen the team play in New York, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia — and over winter break, she’s planning to travel even more.
“We’re going to Jacksonville State which is probably three or four hours away,” senior Amanda Unterreiner said.
Unterreiner goes to almost every game with Sullivan and junior Ainsley Barry. The trio started attending games together during Sullivan’s sophomore year.
Barry, who grew up with Villanova basketball, has enjoyed cheering on the home team.
“When I came to Belmont and heard our teams were great I was excited to get the chance to cheer on my own school.”
But for Sullivan and Unterreiner, college basketball wasn’t even on the radar until their freshman years.
“Before I went to Belmont, I just knew you had to get the ball in the basket,” Unterreiner said.
For Sullivan, her passion for the sport didn’t really come until the Bruins’ buzzer-beater victory over Murray State at the 2015 OVC Men’s Basketball Tournament, which secured the team’s spot in the NCAA March Madness tournament.
Sullivan, who had changed her spring break plans just to attend the OVC tournament, said that was the moment that sold her on the sport.
After the Murray State game, Sullivan joined the Belmont MOB and now serves as the council president. Unterreiner and Barry are also council members.
Last year, Sullivan was also chosen by Belmont Athletics as the Bruins’ biggest fan, for which she received a trophy and attended an awards dinner with players and coaches.
“Compared to other OVC teams, we have just a better student section,” Sullivan said. “We’re louder. I just feel like we’re always very present. We do have a good team, and that’s definitely one of the reasons, but I really like the environment.”
That fan environment is what keeps Sullivan, Unterreiner and Barry coming back again and again. That, and each other.
“Honestly, that’s a big part of our friendship,” Unterreiner said. “Especially during basketball season, that’s what we spend a lot of time doing — either going to games, traveling to away games or talking about basketball.”
Sullivan and Unterreiner will graduate in May, making this their last basketball season as students, though they both plan to be lifelong fans. Sullivan said she hopes to stay in Nashville and become a season ticket holder post-graduation.
But for now, Sullivan just hopes the team can make it to one more NCAA tournament before she graduates — after all, that’s what sparked her passion three years ago.
“When I was a freshman, my first semester — I was having a harder transition. I was not in a sorority yet at that point, didn’t love Belmont and was really thinking of transferring,” Sullivan said. “That game and basketball are definitely a reason I’m still here.”
This article written by Sarah Everett. Photo courtesy of Brittany Sullivan.