Red-Blue Game stirs excitement for upcoming UA basketball season - Tucson News Now

Red-Blue Game stirs excitement for upcoming UA basketball season

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A tumultuous off season for Arizona Wildcats Men's Basketball wasn't enough to keep the fans away as the 2017-2018 season officially started.

You wouldn't know, by the looks of the capacity crowd inside the McKale Center, that one of the biggest college basketball scandals in history hit home in Tucson.

Friday night's intrasquad scrimmage sounded like any other, with the Arizona pep band hitting all the right notes.

The annual Red-Blue Game even looked like any other, with a show-stopping dunk contest featuring several of Arizona's freshmen phenom.

But there was a different feeling for Arizona Wildcats fans.

When Head Coach Sean Miller grabbed the microphone, more than 14,000 fans keyed in to every word. It was his introduction to the action on the court, after a wild month off of it.

"We got here at 11:00 this morning," said Zona Zoo student section member Sophia Monge.

Not even an FBI probe into bribery and fraud could keep Monge away.

The arrest of now-former Arizona Wildcats Assistant Coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson has been the talk of Tucson.

Yet, Monge was first in line to get into the arena with her fellow "Front Row Crew" members.

"If anything, it just got us more pumped. We're just ready to see this team go. We're just ready to support them. Yeah, they had a lot of things happen. A lot of things blew up. But we're ready to go. No matter what, we're just going to support them anyways," she said."

Knowing the Red-Blue game doesn't count, that its an exhibition, Enrique Espinoza still brought his family down to Tucson from Casa Grande.

"We still come down for the fun, the kids, and the environment,"

Espinoza knows many questions still remain about his beloved program.

"We're true fans. So we stick by our team," he said. "That's just the way it should be."

The Wildcats are back in front of the home crowd Nov. 1 against Eastern New Mexico.

[READ MORE: Cats lose hoops commit Quinerly]

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