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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona game day guide

UA+student-made+signs+during+the+ESPN+coverage+of+College+GameDay+on+Feb.+25.
Simon Asher

UA student-made signs during the ESPN coverage of College GameDay on Feb. 25.

*Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the Daily Wildcat’s 2017 Orientation Guide.

It’s a day unlike any other. School night or not, it’s game day, and there is only one letter on everyone’s mind: “W.”

Game day preparations at the UA come in all shapes and sizes and, depending on the season, campus is usually buzzing if our Wildcats have played even halfway decently.

Whether it’s wondering if the football team will win or waiting for winter and spring sports, game days remain one of the most amusing times on campus.

Football:

The UA struggled last season, only winning against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors— a school that’s more known for its marching band than its football team—in Grambling State and ASU.

Zona Zoo’s numbers dwindled dramatically around halfway through the season, so last year wasn’t a great example of how to prepare for game day, but as the football season looks to revive its spirit, so does the tailgating. Five hours before kickoff is typically when RVs and tents with grills, as well as coolers filled with assorted beverages, set up shop on the UA Mall.

Fans ranging from youth to senior citizens are everywhere, and the Mall is a sea of red. Two hours before kickoff, fans line a walkway on Cherry Avenue right on the Mall as the entire football team walks through signing autographs and dishing out high fives on their way to the stadium. That’s the cue for fans to start entering the stadium. If the Wildcats are down by a large margin by halftime, usually those who have lost hope head back to the Mall to grab a cold one.

Basketball:

Not too many schools in the country have a men’s basketball program quite like UA. Head Coach Sean Miller has maintained the successful foundation originally laid by Hall of Fame head coach Lute Olson.

With the Wildcats consistently ranked in the top 25, or even the top 10 for that matter, over the last few seasons, students go chaotic for their Arizona hoops.

Unfortunately, the Zona Zoo is behind the North basket instead of along the sideline like normal college bluebloods, but elderly and wealthy season ticket holders will always remain a top priority for seating.

That doesn’t stop Arizona students from lining up six hours before tipoff, or, if ESPN’s College GameDay is in town such as the UCLA home game last season, students will pitch tents and spend the night.

Walking up to McKale it can look like tent city, but inside those tents are half-asleep, strung-out, Red Bull-fueled college students studying for the upcoming mid-term. How can anyone blame them?

The Wildcats have only lost two home games over four seasons, so chances are the students are leaving with smiles following another win.


Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.


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