Fans across east coast rooting for Wildcats in NCAA Tournament

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 3:27 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 9:43 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) -Arizona fans came out in full force on the east coast to support the University of Arizona Wildcats Women’s Basketball team in their first round of tournament play.

The seventh-seeded Wildcats defeated tenth-seeded West Virginia in College Park, Maryland 75-62.

A lot of fans across the east coast made the drive to see the PAC 12 team in person.

“Wooohoooo! That was it. I mean we got a chance to go, we got a chance to see them. Especially the women, we need to root for them,” said Victoria Fontes Rainer, Maryland Resident.

Her daughter, Melanie Fontes Rainer of Maryland, said any opportunity to cheer on the wildcats in person is a win.

“We were just so excited to cheer on the women and it’s right in our backyard,” said Melanie Fontes Rainer.

Brandi Avery of Delaware said she bought tickets to the game as soon as she heard the news on Selection Sunday.

“I saw they were playing here at College Park which is only like an hour and a half from our home. I just get to watch them on TV, catch them on TV when I can,” said Avery.

On Friday, most of the fans at the game were friends or family members of Arizona players, but a handful of them support from afar.

Dave Roberts of Maryland said his heart belongs in the Old Pueblo after he lived there years ago.

“I did my undergrad at Arizona and it was some of the best times of my life,” said Roberts.

Others at the game say they were born into the Wildcat clan.

“My dad was born and raised in Arizona, he had always been an Arizona fan and I just kind of tagged along with him. It’s been a family thing. Unfortunately, he passed away a year ago so I’ve just kind of been living on through his legacy basically,” said Avery.

Some fans say they just had to show their support after the men took that rough loss on Thursday in Sacramento.

And some say they just had to show their support after our men took that rough loss yesterday in Sacramento.

“We’re so sad. I just think every Wildcat every time this year has hoped that it’s ‘97 again and we can bring that tournament back to Tucson where it belongs. It was heartbreaking and so now we’re here for the women and we’re going to keep our heads up high because we’re wildcats. Bear Down Go Cats and lets keep moving on,” said Melanie Fontes Rainer.

The Wildcats will now take on Maryland in the second round of the tournament on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (MST).