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Hoops fans stoked by Arizona’s surprising run

Citizen Staff Writer



As the University of Arizona Wildcats beat the Cleveland State Vikings on Sunday, fans in the Frog & Firkin and the No Anchovies! bars on University Boulevard erupted with deafening cheers and wild applause.

“I think it’s fantastic. This is really going to excite the entire state, not just Tucson. The Cats are back,” said Mitch Gump, a 46-year-old architect who graduated from UA in 1986.

He said the UA victory, which propelled the Wildcats into the “Sweet 16″ would be “really good for school spirit.”

At No Anchovies!, Kimberly Insel, 28, a third-year UA medical student who had to yell over the roar of the crowd, said “I think we played really well; we belong in the (NCAA) tournament.

About 200 people packed the two bars, the television-equipped patios outside the bars and the sidewalks in front of them.

As the Wildcats edged toward victory, the cheers grew louder.

Sierra Wolter, 25, a fourth-year UA medical student said the home team’s victory was “awesome.”

“It was brilliant. They did an amazing job, we needed it,” Wolter said.

Angela Romanoski, 27, also a fourth-year UA medical student said, “it’s incredible, we played really, really well.”

The three medical students had spent the afternoon in the Frog & Firkin, a British-style pub.

Each wore Wildcat colors: red T-shirts and blue jeans.

Mark Miles, an off-duty Pizza tosser at No Anchovies! had bellied up to the bar, intent on catching the game instead of catching twirling pizzas.

“It was great,” said the 24-year old UA senior, who is majoring in education. “It’s pretty awesome. It’s obviously bringing business. We get good business at all the games.”

Steve DaSilva a 23-year-old worker with a local glass and mirror company, cheered UA’s victory, even though he has lived in Tucson only a year and a half after moving here from Connecticut.

Before the game ended, DaSilva, who was watching the game at the Frog & Firkin and sipping on a dark amber beer, said, “I think Arizona is dominating. They’ve been dominating the whole tournament.

“I think the U of A’s defense is all over the place,” he added.

When UA won, DaSilva said, “I think they have a good chance of making it to the Elite Eight.

So does Geoff Embry, who was at the Frog & Firkin.

“We looked good,” said the 21-year-old UA student from Phoenix who is majoring in family studies.

But for right now it’s one game at a time.

“I think it’s pretty good they got into the Sweet 16,” said Gabrielle Sacknoff, 21, Gump’s guest at the Frog & Firkin.

Sacknoff, an architecture student at UA, is a former student intern of Gump’s.

“I think it’s pretty good for the school spirit,” Sacknoff said, smiling broadly.

UA fans celebrate as Wildcats advance to Sweet Sixteen

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