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Jayhawks high five fans on way to Final Four

Posted: 6:57 PM, Mar 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-28 19:58:18-04

LAWRENCE, Kan. — As the Kansas Jayhawks keep dancing, cheers of Rock Chalk filled the Forbes Field Airport Wednesday as the team took off for San Antonio.

Many fans said lining up and bidding the Hawks farewell is a tradition as the team goes on to post-season play.

Misty Cott had been at the airport since 9 a.m. and said the team has what it takes to come home national champions.

"They're a tough team; they can do it," said Cott.

The small airport was full of fanfare, flags, Jayhawk hats and blankets. About 200 people in all lined the walkway for the Hawks, which they said is just as special as the River Walk in San Antonio.

KU ambassador and cheerleader Audie Monroe has lived in Lawrence his whole life, but this will be his first Final Four experience.

He expects it to be a little different than watching his hometown team at Allen Fieldhouse.

"They put up the Final Four game in Allen Fieldhouse. They stormed Mass. It was awesome. Since then, they've kept a strong tradition," said Audie Monroe, who actually has a sizeable KU shaved into the back of his hairline.

Monroe is joined by Tori Klopp, a freshman music therapy major.  She's from Illinois, but she knew when she came to KU she wanted to play her part.

"I knew when I went to Kansas I wanted to join the basketball pep band," said Klopp, who plays the trumpet.

Other students said it's time to pay the Villanova Wildcats back for cutting the Jayhawks Elite Eight run short back in 2016.

"I know people definitely doubted them at the beginning of the season, so I love that they made it this far. So why not keep going?" said Lexi Kaminsky, who is a senior on the Rock Chalk Dance Team.

Jayhawk fan Jeff Biggs has watched the Final Four in San Antonio; he said it's time for history to repeat itself.

"This is the 30th anniversary from KC back in '88 so that and 10 years ago that shot with Mario in San Antonio. It's karma so to speak," said Jeff Biggs.

Coach Bill Self, assistant coach Kurtis Townsend, Malik Newman, Devonte' Graham, Mitch Lightfoot and the other members of the team high fived fans as they walked through the airport.

The Kansas Jayhawks play the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday at an estimated time of 7:49 p.m.