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Fans Head To Atlanta To Cheer On Hoosiers In Sweet 16

A bus pulled off before daylight to take IU students to see the Hoosiers play number one seed Kentucky Friday night.

  • Bus leaves IMU headed to Atlanta for the Sweet 16 game, IU vs. KY.

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    Photo: Bill Shaw/WTIU News

    A bus leaves the Indiana Memorial Union for to Atlanta for the "Sweet Sixteen" NCAA men's basketball tournament game Friday between the Hoosiers and the Kentucky Wildcats.

  • IU fans load the bus and are making the 8.5 hour ride to Atlanta for Sweet 16 game.

    Image 2 of 2

    Photo: Bill Shaw/WTIU News

    IU fans load a bus and settle in for a ride of more than eight hours to Atlanta to see Friday's basketball tournament game against Kentucky.

When Indiana University takes on number one seed Kentucky Friday night, they’ll have lots of fan support from Bloomington. More than 50 students boarded a bus that pulled out from the Indiana Memorial Union Friday morning before the sun came up.

It’s an eight and a half hour trip to Atlanta. Both IU Freshman Sara Klehfoth and Kayla Freeze say they’re ready for the game.

“They’ve worked really hard and I think it’s nice that we can go down to support them after all they’ve done this year,” says Klehfoth.

“It hasn’t happened in a while so everyone’s excited about it and coming together. The more people we have down there the more exciting it is,” says Freeze.

Union Board Spirit Director Brianna Whittenbarger organized the trip. She says she knew the demand would be there and  wanted to make the trip happen. The student’s package includes tickets to all the games this weekend, the bus ride and hotel expenses.

“Everyone’s pretty lively. I haven’t even slept, so I’m just excited to Atlanta. I’m excited for the game I can’t even concentrate,” adds Whittenbarger.

The Hoosiers go into tonight’s game with a 27 – 8 overall record. One of those wins was against the Kentucky Wildcats in December. IU also defeated Number 2 seed Ohio State and Number 5 ranked Michigan State teams in the regular season for the first time in IU history. This also marks the first time in Big Ten history since 1952-53 that a league team had defeated the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the same season.

Freshman Dan Walsh says the team’s success gives him a lot of pride.

“It’s been a while, obviously many of the upperclassmen have been through some of the hard years through Crean’s start here at Indiana, but it really brings you back to the pride of being a Hoosier the pride of having a rich tradition in basketball,” says Walsh.

Tip-off is tonight at 9:45. The winner of tonight’s IU/Kentucky game will head to the Elite 8 on Sunday.

Shameka Neely

Shameka Neely, a native of Nashville, Tennessee enthusiastically joined WTIU as Senior Reporter/ InFocus Producer in the news department. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Corporate Communication, with a minor in Marketing and Masters of Arts Degrees' in Administrative Dynamics and Communication all from Western Kentucky University. Shameka also holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Indiana University.

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