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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) -- It has never happened in the history of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, but students at Western Kentucky University Tuesday afternoon said they are confident their #16 seed Hilltoppers can beat #1 seed Kansas in the first round.
E.A. Diddle Arena may be home for the basketball team, but the players are actually headed to Kansas City, Mo., to take on the Kansas Jayhawks in the first game of the NCAA tournament. Students staying here or going there said they are very excited about the game.
WKU students said they are headed for the top.
Pamela Lankford, a sophomore band member and tuba player who is going to the game said, "Tops are going to do it, man! tops are going to do it! I believe. We believe!"
After winning two back-to-back Sun Belt Tournament Championships, they're in good spirits, trusting their underdog Hilltoppers to take on the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks on Friday.
DaQuon Brown, a WKU senior, said he will be cheering from afar.
"I'll be watching it, probably from the school," he said. "Just trying to support my team and everything like that."
"Yes, we are playing the #1 seed, which is unfortunate, but it is also an opportunity to make history," said Junior Perez Carothers, who was traveling to the game on a fan bus.
"I am not that impressed with Kansas," he added. "I am rooting for my team."
While some are going by bus, others are traveling by plane.
Freshman Lexus Miller planned to travel with fellow band member Lankford and others headed to the game in Missouri.
"I am a freshman, actually, so it is an honor to go on this trip. It's mostly upper-classmen," said Miller. "I play the alto saxophone and have been playing for eight years. I'm from Lexington, and I should probably be for the Cats, but go Tops!"
It's the Tops' fourth NCAA tourney appearance in the last six seasons.
"It is great that the Tops have gotten this far along to represent Kentucky and U of L too," Miller said. "It is sad UK hasn't made it, but still, this is our school. This is our time to shine."
All the WKU students we spoke with said they have faith in their team.
Heather Boyan, a sophomore on the volleyball team, said she believed it was all up in the air, but she's rooting for the Hilltoppers.
"If they work hard, you never know what can happen. Even though they're against the #1 seed, I think anything is possible," Boyan said.
The fan bus is open to alumni and anyone interested. They still have spots open for the second charter bus, which leaves Friday morning.