Excitement builds among Badgers fans as Final Four nears


NORTHEAST WISCONSIN - Your all-access pass to the Badgers in the NCAA tournament continues. The men's basketball team is already in Indianapolis.

Fans in Wisconsin are also gearing up for the Final Four, and excitement is building for Saturday night's showdown.

In Neenah, Bucky Badger made a special appearance, pumping up students for this weekend's game.

The unexpected visit stunned Horace Mann middle schoolers.

"We had no clue he was going to come, so it kind of surprised us and gets us pumped for March Madness big game coming up," said Horace Mann student Ella Schroeder.

With the help of staff members, students organized a tip off celebration of the Badgers trip to the Final Four.

"I play basketball and I'm really into the March Madness so I wanted to get our school involved with it," said Schroeder.

Bucky even helped cheer them on.

Other Wisconsin fans are looking to get their hands on anything red.

"Shirts probably, since I have the night off, if I can find like any jammy, comfy pants," said Nissa Norton of Sturgeon Bay as she browsed the racks at The Jersey Store in Ashwaubenon.

"You have to represent the teams that you support," said Norton.

The Jersey Store is experiencing the effects of the Badgers tournament run.

"Anything Badgers is what's popular, so it doesn't matter if it's the Motion W or Bucky Badger or Final Four. Whatever they can get their hands on that's what they're buying," said store manager Tracie Bryfczynski.

The hottest selling Final Four item at the Jersey Store is the "Bracketology" T-shirt. The back shows all the teams the Badgers have played thoughout the tournament.

"Sales have been crazy off the hook and we're excited about that," said Bryfczynski.

As the road to the national championship continues, excitement is also brewing at Badger State Brewing Company in Green Bay.

"It's kind of a fun way for us to say, 'Hey thank you, and you know go Badgers,'" said president and founder Andrew Fabry.

The Amber Ale "On Wisconsin" is back for the big game, ready to quench fans' thirst.

"I think we'll go through a lot, and if they win I think we might just have to open up for the game next week to keep that superstition thing in check," Fabry said.

Back inside the Horace Mann school gym, students excitedly jumped around with Bucky.

"We lost last year, so I think we're gonna win this year," said Schroeder.

The Final Four frenzy continues to build across the area, as do hopes for a big W.

"They're the only team I have right in my bracket," said Horace Mann student Payton Mc Clowery.