Not even the 22 degree weather — high teens with wind chill — was going to stop the students of Kansas State University.
Not the threat of freezing drizzle bound to hit Manhattan overnight.
Not the fact that it was Tuesday, a school night, with many students having classes at 8 a.m. the next morning.
No. For this night, a historic night in many respects, they were going to Aggieville to celebrate their beloved Wildcats beating the Jayhawks in Bramlage Coliseum earlier that night, snapping an eight-game losing streak to KU in half.
“I came out to have fun and celebrate,” Carley Lux, junior in graphic design, said. “This is history.”
It took a while for them to trickle in. Plenty of men’s basketball fans who didn’t have tickets to the game watched the game from bars and restaurants in Aggieville, but the streets were sparse, at least in the few minutes after senior guard Barry Brown put his exclamation point of a slam dunk on the closely fought game.
“You should’ve seen Kite’s when the buzzer sounded,” an officer with the Riley County Police Department said in passing. There were at least a dozen officers watching the streets, waiting for the inevitable onslaught of K-State students coming to celebrate the win.
Slowly and surely, the students stormed the streets, just as they had stormed Bramlage’s court just minutes before, and the lines formed outside of Aggieville’s bars (the fire marshal is apparently a KU fan, according to people waiting to get into the bars).
An “inspired” performance
It’s about a half hour after the end of the game, and Robert Lipson is making his rounds.
“It was the most inspired I have seen the team play,” Lipson said. “At least since ’08 or ’11. To see the joy on the faces of the kids on the floor, that’s better than everything else combined.”
Lipson said he looks forward to the day K-State students don’t have to storm the court anymore, hopefully after “beating the Chickenhawks like we do in football.”
Carrying with him a large sign that reads “WE OWN THIS STATE,” Lipson — probably K-State’s biggest fan — can’t help but get a high five from pretty much everyone who passes him on Aggieville’s streets.
He goes into each bar he can (it’s OK, what bouncer is going to tell him no?) and lifts the sign in triumph. Without fail, the resounding response at each bar: