Loud and proud Cougar fans

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LAS VEGAS ­— Devoted, crazy, sober and loyal were just a few words BYU fans used to label themselves.

In the heat of the WCC tournament, fans have come to support their team from as far away as Virginia, and others from right here in Vegas.

Kyler Pilling from Provo is an avid BYU fan. When asked why he loves coming to the games, he described the atmosphere that is apparent at conference tournaments all around the country in March.

“This environment, and we get to watch the Cougars fight for their chance to be in the NCAA tournament,” he said. “It’s fun, when everyone starts rooting for the underdog.”

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Fans traveled down to Las Vegas to support their Cougars in the tournament games.
For some, watching the games and supporting BYU is a family sport.

“We come every year,” said Dean Ipson of Riverton. “We enjoy watching the games. We go to most of the games in Provo, we travel out of state for the games each year. We’ve got six of us in our family here.”

Sometimes even if the game is dragging, the fans are still involved and cheering loud. Heather Hillery traveled from Provo to get to the game. She was asked what her favorite part of the tournament was and her response was one of many with a similar theme.

“Just partaking in the craziness,” she said. “It’s just a really fun environment and intense.”

Troy Tebbs knows a thing or two about basketball, seeing how he played in high school and college ball at Snow College. His favorite part of the tournament are the ballgames, and the college atmosphere.

The support of the Cougars is widespread, from their team manager to stay-at-home moms.

Jenny Ashburn and her family from Utah described BYU fans as passionate, fabulous and crazy.

Whether they are first generation fans or born and bred blue, they all have one common denominator, they love BYU and they aren’t afraid to show their true colors.

ALTERCATION BREAKS OUT: During Saturday’s game, however, things got ugly when an altercation broke out between BYU students and Gonzaga fans.

Scott Hiatt told The Daily Universe that three Gonzaga fans wandered into the BYU student section and were asked to leave.

Hiatt said he and Trevor Woller were making their way back to their seats when they saw the Gonzaga fans taunting two women in the BYU section. According to Hiatt, pushing broke out and one of the Gonzaga fans punched him in the face.
Other fans in the area confirmed the altercation had taken place.

“I’m glad we stood up for BYU and the women they were taunting,” Hiatt said.

Security at the Orleans did not return The Daily Universe’s call for comment.

Hiatt said the altercation left him with a black eye.

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