MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Badgers fans are gearing up for the NCAA Tournament! The Badgers play on Thursday afternoon, March 20th at 11:40 a.m. at the BMO Harris Bradley Center -- and on Wednesday, Badgers fans had the opportunity to take in practice. On Wednesday evening, they'll get pumped up in a pep rally at the Milwaukee Theater.
Thousands of Badgers fans filled the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Wednesday afternoon to watch practice. It was a sea of red to welcome the young men from Madison.
Among those watching practice Wednesday was Aaron Hardt of Brookfield, who is happy to tell you how long he has been following the Badgers.
"1948 -- when I discovered them on my brother's crystal radio and became a Wisconsin Badgers fan. Didn't even know what basketball was," Hardt said.
Hardt was among the first to take a seat in the arena on Wednesday. He said he wanted to get a good look at American University -- the Badgers' opponent for the first round.
"The Badgers better be ready because they can shoot. They count out -- when they do their three-point exercise, they count out how many they got in a row and they got to nine in a row one time," Hardt said.
Sasha Albrecht graduated from UW-Madison last year. She says she's pumped for the big game.
"I was so excited they're gonna be in Milwaukee. I go to grad school in Milwaukee so it`s convenient. I'm trying to go to a game this weekend but if not, this would be a great opportunity to see them," Albrecht said.
While Wisconsin fans made up the majority of those who filled the BMO Harris Bradley Center, Anna Hassell was on hand Wednesday. She's a BYU alum, there to support Luke Worthington, a graduate of Homestead High School and a freshman forward for the Cougars.
"He spoke in our ward, or parish, a couple months before he left for BYU. He came and spoke and did a great job so it's really exciting for him," Hassell said.
Should both Wisconsin and BYU win on Thursday, the teams will meet on Saturday for the chance to advance to the Sweet 16.
The Badgers pep rally is set for 6:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Milwaukee Theater.
Playing in Milwaukee on Thursday are:
The NCAA has announced it will release a limited amount of additional tickets for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship second-round games being played Thursday, March 20, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Ticket prices are $84 for Session I and $89 for Session II, plus applicable fees at point of purchase.
These tickets will go on sale starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
To purchase, visit http://bit.ly/NCAAMKE-14_Tickets , call 1-877-NCAA-TIX or visit the BMO Harris Bradley Center Ticket Office, which is open until 8 p.m.