Women’s Basketball Fans Rally as March Madness Comes to Austin
Mar 28, 2024

Women’s Basketball Fans Rally as March Madness Comes to Austin

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas – A crowded sea of burnt orange lined up outside of the Moody Center Sunday as the Longhorns hosted Alabama for the second round of the March Madness tournament.

“Hopefully they get to the third round. We’ve been coming to every game this whole season and it’s very exciting every time we come,” Texas fan Stevie Olvera said.

With a 65-54 victory against the Crimson Tide, Texas advanced to the Sweet 16 where the team will face Gonzaga on March 29 in Portland, Ore. This is the team’s third Sweet 16 in four years. The Horns fell to Louisville at home in the second round last season.

Before tipoff, Olvera felt confident Texas would pull off a victory.

“We’re going to smash Alabama, get that win and move on,” he said.

Sunday’s game drew a large crowd, as nearly 10,000 fans packed the stands, filling more than 90% of the Moody Center’s capacity.

Fans line up before the Texas Women’s Basketball against Alabama at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on March 24, 2024. (Logan Dubel/Reporting Texas TV)

To entice UT students to attend the first and second round games, former Longhorn football player Michael Huff offered free tickets.

“Same thing as last time – y’all know – tickets are on me. So, let’s fill up the Moody Center again,” Huff said in a video posted to the (Longhorns women’s basketball team’s Instagram page).

UT freshman Cali Shrum said she jumped at the chance to attend the game for free. open seats.

“I used to play basketball growing up, and I was a huge UT fan my whole life, so getting to come to a March Madness game for free is super cool,” Shrum said.

“I’m excited to go for the first time. I’ve never been or experienced this, and I’m excited to tell all my friends about it.”

Even for those rooting against the Longhorns, the matchup offered more than action on the court.

“It’s a cool experience,” said an Alabama fan who came to watch his son perform in the pep band.

“He’s had a lot of cool experiences and being able to add this to what he’s been able to experience, and us being able to see him, it’s like coming back home. It’s awesome.”

James Buenos, a Texas fan who drove his family from Corpus Christi to see the game, said experiencing the Moody Center atmosphere would prove to be worth the ride, win or lose.

“Being from Corpus, naturally, we don’t get to see something of this magnitude, so for us to be able and come and see this… it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of,” Buenos said.