“This place is rocking during UA introductions. Loud chants: ‘U of A, U of A.’ Oh boy. I’m not playing and I’m already hyped.”
Who said this? Not an Arizona fan, alumni or reporter. It was Percy Allen, a Washington Huskies blogger for the Seattle Times.
“This place is loud. So loud you can barely hear the guy next to you.”
14,619 screaming fans filled McKale Center on Saturday night, and it announced one thing to the entire nation: McKale Center is back. Without the fans, Arizona very easily could have lost to Washington, even Sean Miller said so.
Thank the big guy in the sky for the fans, and for McKale Center.
It all starts with the Zona Zoo. The students braved blistering winds and dust storms for hours just to get inside, and they were fired up from the first moment the Cats touched the floor. They harassed the officials throughout the entire game, and whenever the team needed it most, the Zoo was there to pick them up. Even five minutes after the final horn sounded, the students stayed to celebrate after the huge win. Sean Miller has wanted an elite student section from the first day he arrived in Tucson, and the Zona Zoo didn’t disappoint on Saturday night.
It’s also time to give some credit to the season ticket holders and those who purchased an upper-deck seat for the UW game. If 14,619 fans were inside of McKale, about 14,610 of them were wearing white. For all of the criticism they have received over the years, the season ticket holders showed up for the game. They were rowdy, boisterous, and ferocious, and no one sat down during the last ten minutes.
Sean Miller said it best after Saturday’s game.
“I’ve never seen a white-out where everybody wore white….” Miller said, “it was the most amazing thing.”
Washington is one of the most underrated and efficient teams in the entire nation, and they’re a legitimate threat to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament with the right draw. A win against them not only gave Arizona a much needed boost up the seed lines, but it also gave them a huge leg up in the conference race, which they could close out at the LA schools this weekend. But even had Arizona lost that game, even if they didn’t get that boost in seeding, even if they didn’t get a leg up in the conference race, they still would have proven at least one thing.
McKale Center is back.