BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) - The Hoosiers are in Atlanta getting ready for their first Sweet 16 trip in a decade. Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of fans were in Bloomington for the team's sendoff.
"This is a very exciting moment for Indiana basketball," said Karen Lynch.
Outside Cook Hall, a crowd of IU fans gathered to wish the Hooisers well in the Sweet 16.
"I've just been a huge fan since the ‘70s," said Anita Kay.
Kay said she has been going to that spot to cheer on the team since the ‘80s. This time, her support is no different.
"The players are all so very nice, and I know they are very appreciative of all the fans' support," she said.
But some saw extra significance in this sendoff.
"It's the biggest game so far that we've waited for a while," said Eddie Mendizabal. "The round of 16, it's just great.. We're excited."
Alex Kovacs said it was the start of something bigger.
"Honestly, it's the start of our comeback.. you know what I'm saying?" This game is like a very big stepping stone of what our program is about to be," he said.
Just days after returning from Portland and beating VCU the team is headed to Atlanta to take on Kentucky in the next big game. The Hooisers played the Wildcats this season and beat them on a last-second shot by Christian Watford. Watford expects this game to be just as close.
"It's going to be a great game," he said. "Both teams are going to go at it and fight hard and play."
And while the team plays hard, Coach Tom Crean is counting on fans to be there.
"It sounds like we are going to have a lot of fans there, a lot of people making plans to go. I hope the students aren't skipping school too early. I hope they're going to wait get their classes and get in," Crean said.
And if the players have their way, they'd like to fill the Georgia Dome.
"We're going to need everyone to come out; you know, we don't want to see a sea of blue once we go out there. We want to see some red in there, and I'm sure we will," Watford said.
If you're thinking about heading to Atlanta to cheer on the team in person. 24-Hour News 8 found tickets available on Stubhub.com. Prices range from $195 up to $400.
A winter weather advisory was issued for Wayne, Union, Switzerland, Ripley, Ohio, Franklin, Fayette and Dearborn counties on Saturday night.
IMPD officials say a 3-year-old boy has died after he was shot in the head Saturday evening.
With seventeen shopping days remaining, customers are steadily visiting gift stores along Mass Ave. in downtown Indianapolis.