COLUMBUS, OH — Marquette University basketball fans are having fun in Columbus ahead of the men's team's first NCAA game.
Fans, staff, and even the school president Dr. Michael Lovell went on a 5k around downtown Columbus.
For Marquette alumni who also live in Columbus, this is a dream come true scenario.
"I’ll be really excited one day to talk about how the year they won it all, it started here in Columbus," 2008 graduate Scott Fredrickson said.
He lives in Columbus, and as soon as he learned the games would be in town, he had to buy tickets. Back when Fredrickson went to games at Marquette as a college student, he would paint himself in Golden Eagles colors.
"Went to a ton of games, I have a lot of great memories, you know. One year, my freshman year, my two roommates and I, we painted ourselves blue from the chest up in latex paint, and that stuff is incredibly painful to get off," he said.
Because of his painting exploits, he inadvertently became the poster boy for Marquette's basketball fandom.
“I was out of college. I was driving down the road one day going down 94 with a friend he says, 'hey, look, you’re on that billboard'. And it was that picture.”
Coincidentally, another Columbus resident who went to Marquette also wore crazy game-day gear. For tournament games, 2012 graduate Kyle Stanley used to wear a yellow suit jacket and a giant cowboy hat. But he’s traded that in for something a little more subtle.
“I bought a new sweatshirt on National Marquette Day. I’ve worn it every game since don’t plan to stop now.”
He lives just seconds away from Nationwide Arena where Marquette will take on the University of Vermont.
"I’ve had numerous friends obviously ask for a place to crash," he said.
The fun continues all weekend long. There will be a big send-offfor the players at the team hotel on Friday.