Despite the distance, the Jackrabbits figure to have more than a few fans on site for Thursday's game against Michigan — even if they can't find Brookings, S.D. on a map.
According to a South Dakota television station, some Michigan State fans have been ordering South Dakota State t-shirts off the school's website so they can wear them to the game. The Spartans play against Valparaiso at the Palace earlier in the day, so why not help beef up the Jackrabbits' cheering section?
Michigan, after all, will be playing near its home turf of Ann Arbor and boasts a current enrollment of over 40,000 students. South Dakota State, meanwhile, has an enrollment of about 13,000, many of which won't be able to make the trip for the second tournament trip in school history. (The Jackrabbits didn't qualify for one of our earlier Facebook data analysis posts because it didn't have enough "likes" on the social media network.)
Because the SDSU men play Michigan, some of the requests for Jackrabbit gear have actually been coming from Michigan's instate arch rival.
"We've actually have had some people, Michigan State fans calling in," Brua said. "Michigan and Michigan State are playing in the same arena, so what the people are doing, buying some stuff so they can go to that game and cheer against Michigan."
Meaning, the SDSU men's team will have a lot of fans, even if some of blue and yellow faithful can't be there in person.
South Dakota State reports that its merchandise sales have quadrupled this week and that many orders are paying $50 for overnight delivery. That's a rather expensive way to get behind South Dakota State lines, but Michigan State fans must know that you can always use another great t-shirt (that Jackrabbit logo is admittedly kind of cool).
Plus it's an easy way to disguise their shame if the Spartans lose to Valpo earlier in the day.