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Early Birds Get the Tickets to Monarchs' NCAA Tournament Game in D.C.

Phil Lynch is graduating in May. He's been a Monarch basketball fan since the day he arrived on campus from Sarasota, Fla.

When the sport management major heard that Old Dominion University's Monarch Maniacs - the student fan organization - was distributing 45 free tickets to Thursday's NCAA tournament game against Butler, Lynch took no chances.

The tickets were being allotted at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Lynch got in line at 5:30. On Monday evening.

"I'm a senior. I wasn't able to go last year (when ODU played Notre Dame in New Orleans). There was no way I was going to miss this game," Lynch said. "I love this team. I love ODU basketball, ODU sports in general."

He attended every home game this season, and all 11 games of the CAA tournament in Richmond. Lynch said he's actually a little wistful about this season coming to an end in, at most, six games. "I'm really emotional, seeing one of the best classes in ODU basketball history play its last games. They're great players, and great ambassadors for the school. I'm so proud of this team."

Donnise Whitehead was among the first 10 fans in line for tickets as well. The senior sport management major from Suffolk got off her shift at Chick-fil-A in Webb Center at midnight, and got right in line.

"I'd rather be sleeping, honestly, but I don't want to miss this," she said. "I'll probably pay for this tonight, when I go back to work, but you've gotta do it. You've got to support our Monarchs."

The 45 tickets were gone shortly after 8 a.m., according to the Monarch Maniacs. The students will board a bus before dawn on the day of the game, arriving at the Washington D.C., Verizon Center in time for the Monarchs' 12:40 p.m. tipoff with the Butler Bulldogs.

With intense demand for ODU's official allotment of tickets, fans were making plans to travel to Washington for the Thursday (and hopefully Saturday) games, securing tickets however they could.

And with demand for tickets far outstripping supply, many fans are simply relying on that maxim that covers sporting events such as this one - if you can get to the arena, you can almost always find a way to get yourself into the game.

This article was posted on: March 11, 2011

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