Texas fans few and far between in Milwaukee as NCAA Tournament kicks off

Texas guard Martez Walker, right, throws t-shirts to fans after a practice session for their NCAA college basketball tournament game Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Milwaukee. Texas plays Arizona State on Thursday. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

MILWAUKEE (KXAN) — Being more than 1,000 miles away from Austin, burnt orange was hard to find in Milwaukee on Wednesday ahead of the Longhorns matchup with Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament.

So, per tradition, Texas players threw out t-shirts to the crowd after their open practice, hoping to add a few extra fans before their game against the Sun Devils.

“That was kinda cool,” said one fan. “I’ve never seen anything like that. I was surprised they were gonna be throwing out shirts. I’m just a college kid looking for a free t-shirt. I’ll root for Texas, I think, but I’m a Marquette fan through and through.

“I’m just a big Longhorns fan,” said another in person enjoying the open practice. “I don’t have tickets for the tournament, but I thought I’d come down and see them, and I got a t-shirt, so it’s all good.

“I was surprised at first, I didn’t know what was going on,” he said as the players tossed shirts into the stands. “I figured I’ve got a chance, I’ve got a longhorn hat on. I’m hoping somebody sees me, and someone did, so it was good.”

“I think this day’s all about the fans and the players,” said one Nebraska fan. “Really, the whole atmosphere is really cool. I think it’s really cool they brought the fans into that. Being from Nebraska, I’ll never cheer for Texas, but I just needed something to burn tonight, I guess.”

So maybe the free shirts didn’t win everyone over, but regardless, the newly converted and the diehard Longhorns fans will be in Milwaukee on Thursday night when Texas takes on Arizona State around 8:40 p.m.

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