Cardiac 'Cats welcomed home

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- It wasn't the ending fans were hoping for.  They watched as the 'Cats fell to the University of Connecticut in the Elite Eight, despite having a chance to win in the final possession.

But Wildcat pride is still running high in Tucson.

Arizona fans lined up outside the McKale center, anxious to get a glimpse of their Wildcats.

As players stepped off the bus, lots of high-fives and pats on the back were just the beginning of a grand welcome home.

Inside the McKale center, fans held up signs of support and showed their pride for a team that surprised many throughout the season.

"To come in here and have these thousands of fans cheer for us, you just want to give them so much," said Arizona guard Momo Jones.

"I think as the season went on and we really started winning, at least got on a roll, people started to really rally around Arizona and we got excited about it," said Arizona fan Ben Smith.

And that excitement especially kicked in during the team's final days on the court.

"It was close. It was way close," said Smith.

With each game the Cardiac 'Cats kept their fans on the edge of their seats.

But most people remained loyal and optimistic.

Now that optimism is spreading like wildfire.  Fans hope their team will do even better next year.

"I cant really wait to see how much further the team will go on with Sean Miller coaching them for the next several years," said Felicia Martinez.

"I hope D-Will comes back for a least one more year, if he comes back next year for one more year, I think we could see a lot of things happen for the U of A," said Smith.

Fans are excited about the future of the basketball program, but whether or not Derrick Williams will return is a big question on most fans' minds.