Wenxin Xia / Lantern photographer
While the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s game against No. 2 Michigan didn’t tip off until Sunday, some students started camping out as early as Friday morning.
After all, it was the surest way to get the best seats possible, they said.
“We got here at 1:30 in the morning to make sure we were here first,” said Marcus Otte, a first-year in exercise science.
Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed.
Members of the men’s team paid a visit to the students gathered outside the arena Saturday afternoon, and were given a box of Buckeye Donuts by freshman guard Amedeo Della Valle.
The gathered students, who dubbed their tent city with a sign that read, “MATTARITAVILLE,” even took a photo with the men’s team.
The team wasn’t the only group of people to take notice of the students, either.
“A cop showed up around 10 a.m. (Friday) and asked us what we were here for too,” Otte said.
The officer nor the rain showers that passed through campus Friday morning, were not enough cause for the students to pack up and head home, though.
“The wind was blowing pretty hard this morning and all the water was going to my side of the tent,” said Benjamin Kleppel, a second-year in business. “I took my second tent out around 5 or 6 a.m. just so I wouldn’t get wet.”
In fact, camping out is something that some of the students hope will become a regular occurrence.
“My uncle works at Duke so I see those students camping out for every game and want to do it too,” said Jake Johnson, a second-year in business education. “I plan on pretty much doing it the second half of the season and for most of the weekend games.”
Otte said employees of the Schottenstein Center were shocked to see students camping out two days prior to the game.
“Some guy came out here because he didn’t believe it,” Otte said. “It’s my first game doing this, so I’m staying here the whole time and they better get used to it.”
A security guard at the venue opened the building every two hours to let the students in so they could use the bathroom.
Otte brought food with him.
“I grabbed like five of these subs from campus before I came here today to stock up,” he said. “I know I’ll need it.”
The group also set up a series of extension cords to the power outlets on the side of the building in order to charge their electronics and pump up air mattresses inside their tents.
“It’s always fun to show support,” Kleppel said. “Even though we are not undefeated this year, we are still good, and it is a big game.”