City, UA hope to control March madness - Tucson News Now

City, UA hope to control March madness

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

With a handy defeat of Gonzaga, Arizona enters the Sweet Sixteen, and students get both excited, and anxious.

"As they do better it's going to be more intense, we're going to be watching the games, and if we do actually get knocked out, it's going to be a big upset.  But, this tournament, all these big teams are getting upset by these smaller teams, so, that's a possibility for us but I hope that doesn't happen," said U of A sophomore Junelie Aguayo.

The celebration of a national victory over Kentucky in 1997 and the despair of loss to Duke in 2001 both led to rioting on Fourth Avenue.  As Tucson Police prepare for the worst this year, the university said that encouraging students to celebrate responsibly and possibly offering watch parties could help prevent problems.

"We know that we're in the national spotlight when things like this happen and as part of that we want to make sure that everything associated with the university is positive fan celebrations," said associate dean of students Kathy Adams Riester.

Plenty will want a place to watch it.  The McKale ticket office already went through its allotted 1250 tickets for the games in San Diego.  Blue "Sweet Sixteen" shirts abound, with red arriving Tuesday.

"The Sweet 16 shirt is going to be very popular and if and when we do win on Thursday and we go into the Elite 8, obviously the demand will grow even more so," said UA Bookstore technology manager Christine Montano.

"I would go, it's just that it's difficult to get tickets, I'm not even going to bother asking here I think the best place to go is StubHub or something like that," said season ticketholder Joe Alfieri Garcia.

The country has already noticed the Arizona Wildcats.  How Tucson reacts to the team's performance is the kind of March madness the school and city hope to control.

"I think it would be a little hectic because there would be so many people coming in but I think it would be a cool thing to show all of our school spirit," Aguayo said.

Check out Greg Byrne's message to "Bear Down with Pride" here.

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