DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The University of Dayton campus is buzzing with Flyer Fever as students are excited with UD set to play in the First Four.
“I mean the feeling on campus is just absolutely incredible. It’s March Madness season. I love it,” said Ryan Phillips, President of UD’s Red Scare, the college’s student fan base.
Phillips echoes the buzz humming throughout UD as the Flyers are set to take center stage at home at UD Arena Wednesday night.
“It’s building and building to the point where I think Wednesday it’s going to blow and everyone is going to be going around screaming the Flyer fight song,” said Phillips. “The buzz is starting to build up. At first everyone was sort of confused trying to figure out why on Earth are we in the First Four; that doesn’t make sense.”
While some were disappointed with an 11th seed, students like Freshman Nicole Steinbicker said playing here at home in the First Four makes up for it.
“It’s kind of like a bonus game for everyone here, where everyone is really excited for the atmosphere and to pull out another win,” said Steinbicker.
UD is 16-0 on the home court. Steinbicker is hoping to make this 17-0, with her studies in the back of her mind. She said she’s not sure how she will balance class with all of the excitement.
“I don’t know if we will,” laughed Steinbicker. “We might just hang on to the end, who knows.”
The Flyer Spirit store on Brown Street has already seen a boost with fans getting gear to cheer on Dayton.
“It’s definitely big for us. We love to see the local alumni as well as anybody coming to watch the games come in,” said Flyer Spirit Manager Nick Wood.
The store set records last year during UD’s run to the Elite 8.
“The line was literally out the door in the back,” recalled Wood.
With the Flyers at home for the first game, the store expects to be just as busy, but it’s ready for all rounds of the tournament.
“The Dayton community loves their basketball,” smiled Wood.
The Red Scare also gave out a limited number of tickets Monday to students on a first-come-first-serve basis. The tickets were for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s match-ups. The group said the tickets for Tuesday were gone in about five minutes, but because there was more of a demand for Wednesday’s games, students were entered into a lottery where 150 lucky names would be drawn for those seats.
The Red Scare said it’s planning some watch parties for Wednesday as UD takes on Boise State.