Have You Seen This? Cheerleaders steal the show during March Madness

An Indiana cheerleader is lifted up to retrieve a basketball that became lodged on a camera mount at the top of the backboard during the second half of a first-round NCAA college basketball tournament game between St. Mary's and Indiana, Thursday in Portland, Oregon.

An Indiana cheerleader is lifted up to retrieve a basketball that became lodged on a camera mount at the top of the backboard during the second half of a first-round NCAA college basketball tournament game between St. Mary's and Indiana, Thursday in Portland, Oregon. (Craig Mitchelldyer, Associated Press)


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MARCH MADNESS โ€” They've trained for this for their whole lives. The pressure is on. It's one of the biggest stages in college basketball.

But no one could have anticipated who the real star of the show would be during a men's NCAA college basketball tournament game on Thursday: the cheerleaders.

We've all heard the joke along the lines of, "How many people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" Well, on Thursday the real question was how many basketball players, stadium staff and referees does it take to rescue a lodged basketball?

After multiple attempts to poke the ball out with a mop and calls from the referees to "grab a chair," two Indiana cheerleaders casually stroll over, perform a stunt with a female cheerleader standing on the male cheerleaders' hands, and grab the ball.

In a matter of seconds, the ball is recovered and the crowd goes wild.

"The hero is the cheerleader in Portland," an announcer says during the broadcast.

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Lisi Merkley is a news producer for KSL.com. Prior to joining KSL in May 2021, she was editor in chief of The Daily Universe at Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and Spanish.

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