Fans Cheer On As The Vols Advance

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Many still haven't caught their breath from the Vols Sunday victory over Virginia? Kim Bedford, was on the Cumberland Strip where she caught students returning from Spring Break and other fans just happy to cheer on the Big Orange.

At just after high noon it was time for the Vols to hit the court. Fans at the Buffalo Wild Wings near UT's campus were among the eager orange faithful tuned in to the nationally televised game. But as time ticked off the clock patrons of the wing joint found very few words to describe what they were seeing.

"Intense," said Brian Schuenemann, a Sophomore at UT, "very intense game,"

These fans were on the edge of their seats for most of the game as the Vols and the Cavaliers fought back and forth for the baskets

Then with 30 seconds left came Chris Lofton's foul shots. Loud cheers accompanied both as the ball sank into the net, allowing the Vols to hang on and win 77-74.

As chants of Rocky Top echoed off the walls some tried to calm themselves down.

"We're on our way to El Paso," said Bettie Wilkie, an avid Vol fan before catching her mistake. "I mean San Antonio."

And for the many students returning to campus to resume the second half of their spring semester, the win was exactly what they needed.

"I was so excited that we won," said UT Grad student Allison Wiemer. "We all just got back from Spring Break, so the first thing we did was come here."

Students like Wiemer may have to get back to work, but that doesn't mean they can't anticipate Thursday's Sweet 16 game against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

"We played them pretty well earlier this season, so I think it's time to come back and actually beat them this time."

Others were just as optimistic about the rematch.

"They've got their confidence back," Wilkie said, "and they're ready to go."

So the Vols will next head to San Antonio and while almost every one of Buffalo Wild Wings patrons were happy to see the team move on, at least one was second guessing his bracket picking talent.

"I think they might get a chance to beat Ohio State," Schuenemann said. "I didn't predict that, but I wish I did."

All is well for the next few days in Big Orange Land. UT has excited its loyal fans and proved they belong on the top tier of college basketball. Fans seem confident and more than anything else, very happy.

"It's a good year to be orange."


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