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Fans send off Griz to NCAA tournament

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Mar 19 2013 11:27:23 AM MDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2013 05:22:17 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Missoula -

The University of Montana men's Grizzly basketball team headed out for the NCAA basketball tournament Tuesday morning.

Fans waited on campus, cheering on the team as they loaded two buses. Police escorted the buses down Broadway, all the way to the airport, with fans waving and cheering from the sidewalks along the way.

The basketball team said it's great to have the support from the Missoula community.

"It's incredible," said Griz head coach Wayne Tinkle. "From the staff here on campus, all the way down Broadway to the airport, it's something we all enjoy because their acknowledging the hard work we put in from day one to get to this point"

"It starts here but it continues all the way the airport," said Griz senior Will Cherry. "They're lining up and taking five to ten minutes from their busy schedules at work and standing on the street corners with signs and showing us support."

The Griz (13) are headed to San Jose, Calif. where they'll take on Syracuse (4) in the first round of the tournament Thursday night.

The Griz finished first in Big Sky Conference regular season with a 25-6 record. They clinched the Big Sky Tournament title with a win over Weber State last weekend.

This will be the 10th appearance for the Griz in the NCAA tournament.