ST. LOUIS (KTVI) –Saint Louis University basketball fans, hoping for an upset Saturday, crowded into the Billiken Club at Busch Student Center on campus and into local bars to watch their team take on last year`s national NCAA Champions.
It was a defensive battle in the first half as the Billikens held the Louisville Cardinals to 25 points. SLU struggled to shoot three point shots and lost the game 51 to 66.
But student fans were still cheering for the team that reached the top ten during part of the season. That had not happened to a SLU basketball team since the 1964-65 season.
“I think we’re lucky to have come as far as we have and I know that they are an amazing team,' said one female student who, as a senior, has followed the five senior starters. "It's really cool to know that Rick Majerus recruited all five of them. It's been awesome to watch them this whole year."
Pulled into campus at close to 2am, greeted by a group of GREAT fans. Thanks, meant a lot! #RiseOfTheBillikens
— SLU Men's Basketball (@SaintLouisMBB) March 23, 2014
A SLU law school alumnus who began watching the team in 1995 praised the seniors for carrying on the legacy of Majerus who died of heart disease in 2012 after coaching the team to its first NCAA appearance in several decades.
“It"s too bad they couldn't have danced, but such a great run, great run,” he said minutes after the loss to Louisville.
Students refused to be bitter about the defeat.
“Louisville is such a tough team,” said one fan. “I think they had a good season all around. It`s just a tough game for them, but it would be tough on anybody,” he added.