Students set camp in 'Mattaritaville' to watch Ohio State take down Michigan
Published: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Updated: Sunday, January 13, 2013 22:01
Some students were bound and determined to get the best seats in the house for the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s game against No. 2 Michigan. So they camped out at the Schottenstein Center — for two days.
Students started showing up outside the Schott Friday morning, but the game, which the Buckeyes won, 56-53, didn’t tip off until 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
“We got here at 1:30 in the morning to make sure we were here first,” Marcus Otte, a first-year in exercise science, said Friday.
Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed.
Members of the men’s team paid a visit to those gathered outside the arena Saturday afternoon. Freshman guard Amedeo Della Valle even gave the students, who dubbed their tent city with a sign that read, “MATTARITAVILLE,” a box of Buckeye Donuts.
Junior guard Aaron Craft said the team definitely took notice.
“I saw them,” Craft said Friday. “Those guys stick by us no matter what we’re going through.”
The team wasn’t the only group of people to take notice of the students, either.
“A cop showed up around 10 a.m. (Friday) and asked us what we were here for too,” Otte said.
Neither the officer, nor the rain showers that passed through campus Friday morning, were enough cause for the students to pack up and head home, though.
“The wind was blowing pretty hard this morning, and all the water was going to my side of the tent,” said Benjamin Kleppel, a second-year in business. “I took my second tent out around 5 or 6 a.m. just so I wouldn’t get wet.”
In fact, camping out is something that some of the students hope will become a regular occurrence.
“My uncle works at Duke, so I see those students camping out for every game and want to do it too,” said Jake Johnson, a second-year in business education. “I plan on pretty much doing it the second half of the season and for most of the weekend games.”
Otte said employees of the Schottenstein Center were shocked to see students camping out two days prior to the game.
“Some guy came out here because he didn’t believe it,” Otte said. “It’s my first game doing this, so I’m staying here the whole time and they better get used to it.”
A security guard at the venue opened the building every two hours to let the students in so they could use the bathroom.
Otte said he made sure to stockpile food.
“I grabbed like five of these subs from campus before I came here today to stock up,” he said. “I know I’ll need it.”
The group also set up a series of extension cords to the power outlets on the side of the building in order to charge their electronics and pump up air mattresses inside their tents.
“It’s always fun to show support,” Kleppel said. “Even though we are not undefeated this year, we are still good, and it is a big game.”
Andrew Holleran contributed to this story