Fans Proud of Fresno State Bulldogs

3/22/2008 Fresno They were the little team that could, coming back from a losing season with some remarkable memories like an unforgettable half-court shot.

Fans packed Fresno sports bars Saturday to watch their Dogs, the underdogs, face the Baylor Bears in their first ever NCAA tournament game.

Jane Campbell, fan, says "This was just exciting. First time ever. You know it's unbelievable."

At the doghouse grill dedicated fans wore shirts reading "NCAA Bound the Story Continues."

The story has been one of drama and triumph since Adrian Wiggins took over as head coach after Stacy Johnson-Klein was fired and recently won her lawsuit against the university.

Ronnie Nowell, fan, says "I think it's great, especially since all the turmoil lately. All of a sudden we're back in it- national exposure for our girls."

Nowell hopes his three daughters will play at Fresno State just like their grandfather did.

Katie Nowell, 10 year old, says "I really want to play basketball and I always watch it with my dad."

The family watched the Bulldogs lose by 21 points. But even the TV announcers applauded the team's accomplishment.

"This should not in any way diminish the season that Adrian Wiggins' team has had. They are to be congratulated, the first year in the 43 year history of the program that they made it to the NCAA tournament," one announcer says.

Fans hope this history-making game will be the first of many Fresno State March Madness matchups.

John Crossley, fan, says "It's something to build on for the future. How do you replace Wilson though? But we can recruit some tall inside players."

Paul Millan, fan, says "I think they played hard- they were a little outnumbered in terms of experience- this is their first time- but I think they'll be back next year."

The team is scheduled to return to Fresno Yosemite International airport around 7:00 Saturday night.

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