Tue Apr 05 12:41am EDT
Houston football player Justin Johnson was excited to have the Final Four in his town, but he never thought he'd get a chance to see a game live.
"Well, we all were excited to have the Final Four in our town, but I didn't think we would get to be at the game," Johnson said. "This was awesome… [The crowd] was nuts early, but UConn ran away with it, so it died down."
UConn's fan section was nearly empty during Saturday's national semifinal against Kentucky. Even though UConn was allotted 800 tickets for its fans, few other than families were able to make the trip to Houston. On Monday, the Huskies didn't want the same lack of fanfare for what ended up being a 53-41 win over Butler for the Huskies' first national championship since 2004 and third since 1999.
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While Johnson and several of his Houston teammates, including star quarterback Case Keenum, were at the game on Connecticut's dime, not all of them were rooting for the Huskies. Johnson said being from a nonautomatic qualifying football school made both Houston and Rice fans empathize with Butler's plight for a national championship.
"You didn't want to be cheering against the people in your section, but it would have been cool to see the underdog win, too," Johnson said. "I didn't want to be a jerk. Just wanted to see a good game, but Butler is doing what we want to do in football, so I guess I was rooting for them a little, too."
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