It was a SWEET weekend to be a Kansas State Wildcat. Sweet SIXTEEN, that is! Randy & I spent our spring break cheering on the 'Cats at the regional NCAA tournament in Oklahoma City.
We arrived in OKC on Wednesday, and I'll be sharing more about our mini-vacation later in the week. But the main attraction was definitely the NCAA tournament.
Our perch for Thursday's game against North Texas was in the rafters of the Ford Center. Before we arrived, I told Randy we probably would see the game better watching on the television in our motel room (and pay considerably less money!) However, I might have had noise complaints from other motel guests. And we wouldn't have experienced the thrill of BEING there, singing the K-State Fight Song with other purple-and-white-clad fans and trying to do the Wabash Cannonball with my rhythmically-challenged husband!
I was raised to be a sports fan. Even back in the days when there were only three or four channels to surf, the Moore family TV was tuned to whatever sports happened to be on. If my childhood favorite, Lost in Space, was up against a basketball game, there was no question that Will Robinson would have to survive outer space without me that week.
I have been following the K-State Wildcats for as long as I can remember. My Grandpa Neelly was a K-State football letterman back in the 1920s and 1930s. (Not that I was around for that, but it did begin a long legacy of Purple Pride!)
My parent were students at K-State, and my dad was on K-State's 1953 varsity football team. Let's put it this way: I have known the words to K-State's Alma Mater for a very long time.
This photo is from my Dad's high school days, but it's a better photo than I have of him in a K-State uniform.
I have been going to NJCAA tournaments in Hutchinson my whole life. But this was my first NCAA tournament.
Randy & Brent went to an NCAA regional in Denver during spring break 2004. It was Brent's introduction to ticket scalpers. Who says spring break can't be educational? K-State wasn't playing, but they went to avoid shopping with Jill and me (not really).
It may have been cold outside, but my K-State Wildcats were hot, hot, HOT (after an initial opening when they were cold, cold, COLD, and we were behind 0 to 10! That was a fingernail-biting time, especially after the KU Jayhawks had just lost against a team they expected to dominate.)
But the 'Cats were victorious over BYU, thanks to the fabulous shooting of Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente.
And a little help from the fans - like this little guy. I didn't know him, but I couldn't resist the photo op.
K-State hasn't been to the Sweet Sixteen since 1988, when our own youngest Wildcat fan, Brent, was born.
He and his fraternity brothers moved to the lower level of the Ford Center after the KU-UNI game on Saturday. Brent texted me that we should come on down to the lower level, too. This rule-following mom decided it was really in the best interest of the Ford Center for me and other fans to move to the lower level. It made the venue look fuller on national television. Always glad to help someone out, you know!
This is a photo of our happy family following the game. And we were all thrilled to be part of the victory. You know Frank and the guys needed all of us cheering them on. They couldn't have done it without us, right?
I will have to watch Thursday's game vs. Xavier from my living room. Little things like working baby calves and getting ready for the middle school music festival next week are getting in the way of a plane trip to Salt Lake City.
But if you hear cheering from the County Line, it will be me! GO 'CATS!