Coach Bob Knight is no stranger to the Sweet 16, and to make sure Tech goes on to the Elite Eight, the entire entourage of band members, family, players and fans, have been well trained on how to prep for a victory.
NewsChannel 11 was at the airport to help send off the Red Raiders, and found out some of the quirks that make the team a success.
Long time fan Nancy Patton says, "We are huge basketball fans, and we love Bob Knight." Nancy and her husband, a former Tech basketball player, have been fans for 40 years, and they'll be front and center for the Sweet 16. "They are such a special team, they have more heart than any team, every time they get on the floor they give it their all."
But the fans are only one piece of the puzzle. "The primary reason we support the basketball team is to help carry them to the next round." The Court Jesters joined the bandwagon to help liven things up between breaks, but even the band has strict guidelines from the coach. "Bob Knight has things he likes us to play, like we play all the way until tip off to try and get the crowd involved."
But the coach isn't the only one that has game-time quirks. Nancy says, "I am going hiking, I need something to keep me from getting nervous."
Thursday night we will continue our Albuquerque coverage as NewsChannel 11 follows fanatic fans like the Pattons to the big game. We'll also hear from New Mexico businesses about the trouble they went through to make sure Tech fans were warmly welcomed.