Wichita State Shockers fans cheer on their team in the second half while taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes during the West Regional Final of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, …
Photographer: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Wichita State fans couldn't be happier. Their basketball team will play in the Final Four on Saturday, and fans are prepared for the big game.
"We always meet at Fox and Hound in Overland Park to watch the game together," said Brooke Amos, president of the Kansas City chapter of the Wichita State Alumni Association.
"We've been meeting there all season, and as the team continued winning, the number of fans started growing," she explained.
Amos said the original 25 alumni knew when the season started that the team was something special.
"I think part of the team's success is one of their mottos which is play angry," she said. "Even sports commentators have noticed the attitude of the players and their aggressiveness on the court."
At the Kansas Sampler at 91st and Quivira in Overland Park, Kan., the display for Wichita State is front and center. Typically it is in the back corner of the store. Fans are buying hats and t-shirts so quickly store clerks are having a tough time keeping shelves stocked.
One manager said that because of the team's success, they are selling more Wichita State shirts and hats and they have had to order another shipment of Wichita State supplies to fill the need.
"I bought a T-shirt for my son and my husband," Kaylene Walaszek said. "We are planning to have a Final Four party this Saturday, so we'll wear them then."
Heather Harper grew up in Wichita and is more than optimistic that the Shockers will win on Saturday and be in the NCAA Championship game on Monday.
"I predict that they will win, but it will be a close game Saturday with Louisville," Harper said.
The basketball team's success is also a recruiting success for the Wichita University. Because the team is winning, more people are learning about the WSU. The admissions office is getting phone calls and emails from students who are now interested in attending.
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