Ally Marotti / Copy chief
For the Ohio State men’s basketball team, the road to the Final Four began close to home.
OSU students and fans alike lined the sidewalks of High Street from about Woodruff Avenue to 11th Avenue to show their support for the basketball team as they departed for the airport Wednesday evening. The street was flooded with fans sporting scarlet and gray apparel awaiting the team’s arrival. Many also displayed signs with phrases such as “Buckeye Pride,” “We Love OSU” and “Bring it Home.”
Some members of the Columbus Division of Fire and the Columbus Division of Police took part in the gathering as well. One fire truck displayed an OSU flag from its extended ladder high above High Street.
Captain Rob Robinson of Ladder 13 expressed positive sentiment toward the Buckeyes.
“We’re just here to support the basketball team. We wish them well on their venture to New Orleans,” Robinson said.
Fans and reporters alike arrived with cameras in hand to capture the departure of the team. Through the celebrations, there was a dominant “OH-IO” cheer progressing down High Street.
The arrival of the two buses resulted in a noticeable escalation of energy from those around, as signs were held high and the crowd shouted words of encouragement.
Though the team quickly passed down the street, many of the players on the bus could be seen taking their own pictures of the fans lining the street.
Jamie Mudrick, a second-year in biochemistry, said she was disappointed at the speed of the send-off.
“They were going way too fast. I thought they’d drive by a lot slower,” Mudrick said.
Tyler Martin, a third-year in operations management, said he hopes the haste is an indication of the game results.
“Maybe they drove so fast because they’re going to cruise through the Final Four,” Martin said.
OSU will face Kansas Saturday at about 9 p.m., after advancing to the Final Four for the first time since 2007.