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Nuthouse fans weather the storm for prime seats

Andy Gottesman / Multimedia editor

Thousands of fans lined up early for Sunday’s men’s basketball game at the Schottenstein Center, looking to get the best seat they could.

Braving temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, students waited hours to celebrate with the outright Big Ten champion Ohio State with its final home game of the season against Wisconsin.

No students, however, waited longer than Nuthouse faithfuls Deric Graft, Jeremy Dean and Jimmy Kontras, who waited outside the Schott since 6:48 p.m. Saturday.

Graft and Kontras are both fourth-years in nutrition.

Josh Poloha, a second-year in sport and leisure studies, and Daniel Burtis, a fourth-year in political science, were the fourth and fifth people, arriving at 9 p.m.

When asked why they were out there that early for the game, their simple collective response was “Why not?”

Armed with lounge chairs, tents, umbrellas, jackets and a computer playing a replay of the 2010 Rose Bowl, a game in which OSU defeated Oregon, 26-17, the five fans were ready to weather the storm and have front row seats for the rematch against Wisconsin.

“We are going to beat them and laugh at them,” Burtis said.

Graft said they have been to every basketball game this year and are always the first people there.

Originally there was dispute about whether they would be allowed to stay overnight. Graft said a Schottenstein Center representative told them they would be escorted away.

“One of the ushers came out here and told us we could not stay overnight,” Graft said. “They said the cops would escort us off after the high school wrestling tournament ended.”

Dean, a fourth-year in education, talked to a Schottenstein Center representative and convinced the representative that they had only good intentions.

“They just wanted us to be responsible,” Graft said. “But they loved our enthusiasm.”

The guys all said they were not looking to get revenge for the spitting incident in OSU’s Feb. 12 loss to Wisconsin.

“We hate Wisconsin because they spit on Jared Sullinger,” Poloha said. “We are classier than that.”

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