Badgers Fiserv Forum NCAA Tournament games home-court environment

The Wisconsin Badgers faced Iowa State at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee Sunday, March 20 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was technically a neutral-site game, but Fiserv Forum was full of Badgers fans hoping to see the team clinch its ticket to the Sweet Sixteen.

Heading into Sunday's game, it sure felt like a mostly home crowd could propel the Badgers to win. Fans just thought the game would play out a bit differently.

A pep rally before Wisconsin's second-round game painted the Deer District red with pride.

"It's so cool. I have goosebumps," said Christie Ducklow, Badgers fan. "My goosebumps have goosebumps."

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The pep rally gave fans a chance to propel their team to victory on a plaza that has a history of winning.

"We came down here as kind of a staycation for spring break," said Dale Destache, Wisconsin alum. "Thought this would be the environment to be in today with the sun. So far, it's been exactly what we wanted."

Once the game actually started, excitement and confidence gave way to nerves and anxiety in the Beer Garden.

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"The Badgers always kind of keep you on the edge of your seat, so it goes back and forth," said Patrick McCrory, Badgers fan. "I mean, that's the great thing about the NCAA Tournament is that you never know what can happen."

The game didn't end the way they would like, but fans still enjoyed the experience of an NCAA Tournament game so close to home.

"Take a look around," said Destache. "This is what it's about, and look at the weather -- gorgeous. You'd rather be sitting here than sitting inside."

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