Butler student experiences New Orleans basketball craze during NCAA Tournament
Many supporters for Bulldogs found around city
A Butler student who traveled to see her team achieve a spot in the Final Four last weekend said she didn't even get to see the last few seconds of the game — she was too busy cheering, screaming and linking arms with fellow students.
"My nails are bit down to nothing," Abby McClure, a junior education major, said. "I had no voice on Sunday."
Wearing Butler attire all weekend, McClure said she heard bursts of encouragement for her team wherever she went.
"It was great having people there that were supportive of Butler," she said. "People would cheer for us, which is funny because we don't actually play."
McClure won a trip to New Orleans through a drawing hosted by the Butler Student Government Association. She was contacted through email, and she paid the $175 for the bus, tickets and hotel by the next afternoon.
Besides watching basketball games, McClure also visited the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, which she described simply as "crazy."
"People were insanely nice and telling us where to go," she said.
For McClure, being a basketball fan is just a way of life.
"Growing up in Indiana — ‘Hoosiers' — that is what Indiana is."
She used to cheer for Indiana, Notre Dame and Purdue. Growing up, she didn't even know Butler had a basketball team. Now she's rooting for a school with fewer than 5,000 students, where talent outmeasures the size of the university.
"I think Butler wants it so bad, nothing can stand in its way," McClure said. "For their players, it's like there's no other chance — we've got to win."
McClure said she's proud Butler can represent Indiana in the NCAA Tournament. She said she knows players from Ball State and Purdue want the title win just as bad.
"Butler kind of got cocky," she said. "We're representing Indiana. It's not like we're the only good team."