Pearl Fires Up Crowd

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UT Campus, Knoxville (WVLT) - It's a huge night for UT basketball, as the Gators come to town to take on the Vols.

Some are calling it the hottest ticket in town and some students might call it well worth the wait.

Sports Overtime's Mark Packer is out on campus, where Bruce Pearl just made a dramatic pre-game pep talk!

"We love Coach Pearl. I mean he's real enthusiastic, he's real energetic, and we feed off his energy and I'm sure he feeds off of ours, so we just want to show as much support as possible for the team," says UT student Andrew Holt.

UT students and die-hard men's basketball fans have spent the past day and a half outside Thompson Boling Arena, in line, waiting to get a wristband to get them into Tuesday's game. Some students were luckier than others.

"I got a wristband and we're supposed to be up there in the front of the line, hopefully, we'll be down on the floor, yelling, so that was the whole point of camping out," Senior Ben Tan says he's been involved in camp-outs before, but hasn't seen anything quite like this. Especially for a UT men's basketball game! "Nothing to the degree that it was last night, 'cause last night, they had tents all the way from the entrance all the way to the ramp."

All for the chance to see their favorite coach, up close and personal.

"The coach is enthusiastic enough to paint up for, like, women's games and stuff," says Holt.

"He's really excited the fans and stuff, plus, just winning, you know?" Tan adds.

As for predictions for tonight's big game?

"Uh, it'll be close. I'd probably say us by three," Ben says.

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