Downtown Milwaukee was all about March Madness Saturday as the Wisconsin Badgers shocked the nation before a set of NCAA Tournament games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Badgers are headed to the Sweet 16 after bouncing top-seeded Villanova out of the tournament with a 65-62 win. As the clock ticked down to zero, dozens of fans went wild inside Upper 90 Sports Pub on State Street.
"It feels amazing,” said Wisconsin fan Brandon Welu. “Villanova is a great team, but Wisconsin, they got an 8 see, they’re honestly probably a 4 or 5.”
Wisconsin fans said they felt the love from thousands of fans traveling to watch other teams play in the Milwaukee regional.
“The atmosphere has been all Wisconsin a lot of camaraderie,” said Jillian O’Hollearn.
After a season full of highs and lows, Welu believes the Badgers are peaking at the perfect time.
“They just beat the number one seed, they can definitely beat the next team up,” said Welu.”The Final Four is a realization.
About an hour after the Badger win, alliances shifted for out-of-town visitors who packed sports bars. It was back to business as they packed the BMO Harris Bradley Center from all over the country.
"We made the decision probably at 10:30 a.m. to come up here so it was really a last minute," said Iowa State fan Terry Sponheim.
At every entrance, Cyclones could be spotted by the dozens.
"We travel well for basketball," said Iowa State fan Terry Augustus.
"This could be a little bit of a road game," said Purdue fan Tim Cary.
Given the high turnout for a sold-out session, last minute ticket shoppers found themselves paying a pretty penny.
"Today's been a little bit of a challenge," said Iowa State fan Brian Steger.
"Now it's over $400 to get in the door," said ticket salesman Thomas Taylor.
Taylor said prices soared for the primetime battle between Purdue and Iowa State.
"I've been working this for years and it's never been this good," he said.
Prices were the least of Charley Washburn and Suzanne Milnes’ concerns. The newly engaged couple became a house divided thanks to March Madness.
"We're hoping that it lasts through the weekend," said Iowa State fan Charley Washburn.
"Purdue is twice the size of Iowa State," countered Suzanne Milnes.
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