Buckheads, other students buying up tickets

Whether they know it or not, Coach Buckley and the team may have a fan club.

They want to call themselves the Buckheads.

Senior Carlo Navarro, member of Sigma Phi Epsilon said the fraternity planned to rally their brothers to support the team. They called Don Park, vice president of university advancement, after the team's success at the Maui Invitational and signed up for both Friday's and Saturday's games.

"We've got about 50 guys signed up," Navarro said. "We planned to do it before the season, but once Ball State started doing well, we thought it was the perfect time."

Navarro said the fraternity has not done something like this as a group, but it would be a great opportunity to get a new fan club for Ball State.

"We hope it becomes a tradition and more students go to the game," Navarro said. "It's a great way to have fun and support Ball State."

What a difference a week makes.

The Ball State Cardinals open the home portion of the regular season at 7 tonight in Worthen Arena, and excitement surrounding the team is causing a ruckus on campus. Students -- whether sports fans or not -- are going to the game Friday.

"Even though I do usually go to the games anyway," sophomore Trenton Shively said. "I am more likely to go because the buzz with the basketball season and beating Kansas and UCLA."

According to Joe Carr, manager of the Ball State ticket office, there has been a definite increase in interest in the men's basketball team.

"We have sold around 60 season tickets since the UCLA game," Carr said. "As soon as Maui happened there were people calling the office."

Carr said students began coming by the arena box office early Monday to pick up their tickets.

"We have already handed out a couple of hundred tickets," he said. "There has been a strong student interest."

The commotion began the night of the Kansas University game. Resident Assistant Travis Harvey said there was "mass excitement" in Brayton/Clevenger during the game on ESPN.

"I'm quite sure because of team success, a lot of people will be going to the game," Harvey said.

Harvey is contributing to the spirit of the game by hanging posters and signs in the hall.

Freshman Lea Erwine said she and a few friends will be going to the game, and that does have to do with the winning streak.

"It's cool that Ball State has been on the news," she said. "I am definitely more interested (in the basketball team) now."