MSU Fans Gather At Palace Of Auburn Hills

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"I flew all the way here from Los Angeles," MSU fan Liz Sandifer said. "You just have to be here, show up for the team. I bleed green."

It was a sea of green at the Palace of Auburn Hills as the Michigan State Spartans took on the Valparaiso Crusaders.

Fans treated it like a home game, and some traveled clear across the country to be at the game Thursday, but they didn't leave anything behind.

"I've been going to tournaments since '99 with Tom Izzo, and so I made this headband," MSU Alum Krista Bashford said. "It is responsible for as many tournament wins as we've had. If this headband breaks, we're hosed."

The homemade headband with basketball antennas didn't break, and it must have worked: The Spartans beat the Crusaders handily.

"It's like Christmas in March," Bashford said.

Bashford said her real good luck charm is her daughter though.

"I flew all the way here from Los Angeles," Bashford's daughter, Liz Sandifer said. "You just have to be here, show up for the team. I bleed green."

Sandifer said the trip was well worth it, and lots of other fans agree. Kyle Baker came from North Carolina to see his two favorite teams play.

"I'm the weird one. I went to both schools," Baker said. "So, I have Michigan and Michigan State in my blood, and I'll root for State as long as they're not playing Michigan."

Baker and his buddies made a pact a few years back to attend every first round of the NCAA basketball tournament. Now his Spartan friends are already making plans for Indianapolis.

"Anywhere Michigan State is in basketball, they travel well, especially Indianapolis only being about 3 or 4 hours away," MSU Alum Chris Ebrom said. "I think it will be the same presence down there as well."

The "same presence" probably includes the lucky headband.

"No doubts, we'll be in Indianapolis for the regional next weekend for sure," Bashford said.

But why stop there? Some fans are getting ready for the final dance.

"Looking for another national championship under Tom Izzo, going to get her done this year, going to bring home another one," MSU fan Justin Gayler said. "Another national championship, it's happening this year. Go Green baby! Go green! Go white!"

Valparaiso fans took the loss well. Some people said they were expecting it, and the experience was still worth the trip.


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