Whatever it takes

The phrase of the day is: Orange PRIDE With four days left until the first Final Four game since 1995, the atmosphere in Stillwater is filled with excitement. Students are displaying their orange pride and the conversations are focused around the basketball team and the next game against Georgia Tech.

"This is a thrilling experience," said Kristy Bartlet, a public relations/Spanish junior from Oklahoma City, Okla. "I think we've had one of the best college experiences in a long time as far as sports goes."

"It is probably the best time I've had being at OSU," said Jason Sanders, a journalism senior from Edmond, Okla. "It is a crazy, happy atmosphere but it is a great time to be a student."

There has been a fairly good representation of fans throughout the NCAA tournament, but with the game being in San Antonio, Tex., students are willing to give almost anything for a chance to be part of OSU history. The student tickets were selling for $85 per session but the fans were willing to pay up for the trip to the Final Four.

"After waiting in line since Thursday I was willing to pay any price," said Jason Woods, a journalism senior from Stillwater, Okla.

Lines of dedicated fans were spotted as early as Thursday outside the ticket office. For some it was the only option of getting a chance to be a part of this experience. "We stayed up until about 3-4 am and then realized what time it was because we had been out there for so long, and we hadn't eaten in 7 hours but our primary motivation was the chance to get a ticket," Sanders said." There was not other way I could afford to go to the game if I wasn't able to get the student ticket."

"I just wanted a chance to get a ticket to the Final Four and be there," said Cody Chaloner, a public relations senior from Hinton, Okla. "I could not miss this opportunity." Woods said the atmosphere outside of Galagher-Iba Arena was getting a bit heated early Monday morning.

"Before Sunday, things were good because there weren't too many people out there, but when Sunday rolled around there were lots of people," Woods said. "The people who got there Sunday night tried to muscle their way in and get as close as possible.

"But at the end everyone was able to get tickets, which was a good thing."

Due to the large crowd, the ticket office started selling tickets at 5am Monday instead of 8am.

Reflecting back on some of the greatest memories from camping outside of the ticket office throughout the season, the fans had only positive things to say.

"For the Texas game we had an aluminum come up from Austin," said Woods. "He bought 6 pizzas and brought an ice chest full of beer. It was a great time." Myers remembered the night before the tickets went on sale for the Final Four Game.

"Sunday night the players were going a study group, and they all came by and shook our hands and said they appreciated everything," Myers said. "It was really neat because we had been out there for three days."

The students were already excited about the match up against Georgia Tech and bets were already made. "I have the Cowboys over Tech 73-68," said Chaloner. "As far as the championship game goes, OSU wins by 4 over UConn, 78-74."

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