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March Madness Fever Hits UOP After Tigers Earn Spot In NCAA Tournament

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STOCKTON (CBS13) – Tickets just went on sale at the University of Pacific where students are ecstatic that the Tigers made it to the “big dance.”

There is a certain buzz on campus as the boy’s basketball team won its first trip to the NCAA tournament in six years.

“I started jumping up and down,” said Jerwin Monje, a UOP sophomore.

“I’m really happy,” said Sara Rittweger, a UOP senior.

“I think it’s great for Pacific,” said David Tomaselli, a UOP junior.

The Tigers were named a 15-seed in the East Region after winning three games straight to win the Big West tournament.

“It’s impressive. I’m like, really impressed with the team,” said Rittweger.

The tigers will head to Austin, Texas and take on the talented Miami Hurricanes this Friday.

“We’re getting on the map now. People who don’t know Pacific are going to start getting to know Pacific,” said Monje.

Pacific will be making their 9th NCAA tournament appearance in school history, and their first since 2006 when they lost to Boston College.

“They’re really nice guys,” said Rossi. “You wouldn’t expect it because they’re big and scary, but then you talk to them and they’re really sweet.”

Rossi tutors the team in math and couldn’t be happier.

“They’re like, texting me during and after the tournament,” said Rossi. “I was like, ‘you guys should be celebrating and not worrying about your classes right now.’”

And you know the students will be watching this nationally televised game.

“It’s going to be awesome watching it. I have a lot of friends in the pep band, unbelievable. Like, I can’t believe it,” said Monje.

“Probably watch it, not go to class. No, I’m kidding. I don’t have class, actually. Going to watch it on TV, root on our team regardless — win or lose — I think it’s great for this university,” said Tomaselli.

And what a great year for head coach Bob Thompson who’s retiring after 25 years of being the Tigers’ head coach.

The Pacific Athletic Foundation just put a limited number on sale. They cost $75 each plus a service fee.

Tickets on StubHub start at $45 dollars plus fees. Friday’s game begins at noon pacific time.

Correction (3/18/13): A previous version of this story incorrectly reported Bob Thomason’s last name.

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