The start of Gonzaga University basketball brings with it a number of crazy fan traditions as students support their team.
Students participate in things ranging from camping outside all night to dancing like crazy to 'Zombie Nation', all in an effort to be the loudest and most intimidating student section in the country.
As the men's basketball team takes on on Utah Valley Friday night, to these fans it's not about who the Zags are playing, it's about the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year for this campus.
Being a basketball fan at Gonzaga University is a serious time commitment.
Gonzaga Senior Allison Drescher said, “I've been out here just a couple hours, i know people up at the front, we're looking at 7 am, my friend got out here at ten after class, so we did go to class, don't worry Mom and Dad.”
First, you wait a least an hour or two to get tickets a few days prior to the game. Then, on game day, you've got to get in line early to get the best seats McCarthey Athletic Center has to offer.
“Time management's key. I'm doing my homework now for constitutional law,” said Drescher, as she waits in line hours before the tipoff.
But in the end, it's totally worth it for these students.
“The minute that those doors open and The Kennel is alive, it's one of the best feelings to have as a college student and one of the best parts about being a Zag is the community we have in that building.”
Besides, a change of scenery can be helpful.
Allison said, “I can do homework in a tent as well as I can do it at a desk, so might as well and try to get our spot in line.”
The start of the conference season brings with it a number of Gonzaga traditions, including tent city.
On Sunday, students will race throughout campus to snag the coveted tent number one, and with it a prime seat inside The Kennel, Gonzaga's well known student section.
If the crowd for tonight's game is any sign of crowds to come, tent seekers will have some competition.
“For a game that's maybe not like ESPN Top 20 status, this is pretty impressive. And cross your fingers for how early we're going to get out here for some of those bigger games,” said Drescher.
In the past few years, additional rules have been placed by administration and campus security.
The changes were initially met with some dismay, but students have adjusted and the tradition lives on.
Drescher said, “last year there was a lot of hype and it kind of... it was a roller-coaster ride,” but this year? “This is the year. I have a feeling.”
To make tenting even crazier, at least one student has to be in each tent at all times.
And we know that neither rain nor snow will stop these fans.